The day that I made this dish, I had no idea what I was doing. I went into my refrigerator and just started throwing ingredients into the skillet. I know that it’s almost impossible to not get an amazing sauce once you start with red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, and shallots. If only I had some olive oil to use for this recipe. It would have been perfect. Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini is amazing and this sauce doesn’t overshadow the pesto here.
Honestly, I didn’t even know what to title this dish. This pasta tastes like a gourmet loaded vegetable hamburger helper. You don’t get a cheddar taste, but you don’t miss it because you have the delicious Quattro Formaggio exploding in your mouth. The cheese, beef, and veggies combined with the pesto tortellini work so well. And honestly, it doesn’t miss the classic combination of butter and flour. The sauce is creamy and thick because of oat milk, greek yogurt, and tapioca starch.
I think Trader Joe’s did a really good job with this pasta. Although, I wish that they would make a version of this pasta with the vegan kale, cashew, and basil pesto that they sell in the store. I love that pesto so much! It tastes amazing on top of anything. I’ve made pizzas and various pasta recipes with it!
What goes good with Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini:
Well, I think that Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini is good on it’s own. Honestly, you don’t even need a sauce for it. You can keep it simple and just add some cheese. Or, you can add some tomato or arrabbiata sauce.
As for what cheeses I suggest you use for this pesto tortellini, I urge you to stay away from bland cheeses. Go for cheeses that are salty. Pecorino Romano, halloumi, good old regular parmesan, and asiago are the best cheeses to eat with this pesto tortellini. Personally, I wouldn’t use a cheese like cheddar or any blue cheese. But, that’s ultimately up to you! If you’re dairy-free, use Kite Hill’s almond ricotta cheese. Unfortunately, I can’t find that cheese in the store. Every single time I go to Whole Foods, it’s sold out. Today, I’m going to Whole Foods and I bet you that I won’t be able to buy it. Sigh. It’s so damn good.
If you don’t want to use ground beef or any meat in general, then just use some tomatoes! If you’re keeping it plant-based, load up the pesto tortellini with lots of veggies. Vegetables like kale, spinach, butternut squash, and eggplant will pair perfectly. Or even a meat alternative like Beyond Meat’s ground beef crumbles if you want to make your recipe similar to mine. Use Daiya’s pepper jack cheese instead of Quattro Formaggio combined with VioLife’s vegan parmesan wedge to keep it vegan.
Want more recipes?
- Fire Roasted Tomato Pumpkin Pasta
- Black Truffle Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta
- Creamy Vegetable Radiatore
- 3 cups Trader Joe’s Pesto Tortellini
- 3 tbsp Avocado Oil (or olive oil)
- 1 whole Shallot, chopped
- 5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Whole Tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup Mirepoix
- 1/2 1 lb Grass Fed Ground Beef (80/20)
- 3 cups Tuscan Kale
- 1/2 cup Frozen Chopped Butternut Squash
- 2 tbsp Sundried Tomatoes
- 2 cups Oat Milk
- 6 tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Tapioca Starch (Or arrow root starch)
- 1 cup Quattro Formaggio
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp 21 Seasoning Salute
- 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar Bourbon Seasoning
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
- 1/4 cup Reserved Pasta Water
- Spanish Olive Oil Cooking Spray, for spraying
- Grated Parmesan (optional)
- Start by boiling the pesto tortellini according to instructions. Reserve 1/4 of the pasta water and then proceed to drain. Spray with Spanish Olive Oil cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium/high heat and add in red pepper flakes, chopped shallot, minced garlic, and mirepoix. Saute! Do not allow to burn. Once it begins to turn brown a little bit, add in the whole tomatoes and saute. Once the tomatoes have heated all the way through, add in the ground beef. Break up the ground beef using a spoon.
- Season the mixture in the pan with salt, pepper, 21 seasoning salute, herbs de provence, and brown sugar bourbon seasoning. Continue to stir. Then allow to cook without disturbing until the beef completely browns.
- Once the beef has cooked completely, add in the kale, butternut squash, and sundried tomatoes. Stir until the mixture is completely covered in the sauce mixture.
- Once the butter has cooked, add in the oat milk and greek yogurt. Stir for 3 minutes and then add in the tapioca starch. Stir until the tapioca starch completely thickens the sauce. Once the sauce has thickened, add in the reserved pasta water. Stir until the water is absorbed and then add in the Quattro Formaggio. Stir again.
- Add in the pesto tortellini. Stir until the pasta is completely covered in the sauce. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving.
- Top with more Quattro Formaggio or grated parmesan once ready to serve.
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