Sage is a herb I really don’t use often enough, and every time I cook with it I always vow to use it more. It’s got the most beautiful rich and earthy flavour, and the leaves are so soft and silky (is it weird to get this excited about a herb?).
I think the reason I don’t use it as often as I could is that I sometimes don’t know what to do with it – it’s got such a rich flavour and can sometimes overpower the other flavours in a dish.
The answer: pasta! Pasta doesn’t have a huge amount of flavour on its own (I’m guessing I didn’t need to tell you that), so it’s the perfect accompaniment for a bold flavour like sage. Along with a simple buttery sauce and a few pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch, this is a super tasty and super simple recipe.
The recipe comes from Italian superchef Gennaro Contaldo, and uses some of my favourite Italian ingredients – fresh tortellini, parmesan cheese, and new Bertolli with Butter spread. It’s made with olive oil like the regular Bertolli spread (which always takes me back to my childhood, as my grandparents always used it), but also butter for a rich and creamy flavour. I’d usually use a mixture of butter and olive oil for a recipe like this, but Bertolli with Butter has fewer calories and less saturated fat than pure butter, so it’s a great alternative (it’s also amazing on toast!).
It’s well-known that the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is one of the healthiest in the world, and this makes me very happy, because they eat some good stuff. They don’t shy away from cheese, pasta or bread – but alongside plenty of fresh fruit and veg, beans and olive oil. I could definitely live with that. Serve this buttery tortellini with a big side salad to make sure you’re getting your veggies in!
The recipe is really easy – start by just frying up the sage leaves in the Bertolli with Butter (a good tip is to roughly tear up the leaves to help all that lovely flavour infuse into the buttery sauce), then add some pine nuts and cook until they’re golden brown. The pumpkin seeds can be added just before serving (they have a habit of popping if you cook them too long!). Don’t forget to drizzle some more of that buttery sauce over the top.
And that’s about it for this buttery tortellini! So simple, so easy, and one of the most delicious dinners I’ve had in a long time. You can see Gennaro’s original version of the recipe here, along with some more of his quick and easy pasta recipes.
Buttery tortellini with sage and pumpkin seeds
- 400 g tortellini (~ 3 1/2 cups)
- 2 tbsp Bertolli with Butter
- 8 leaves fresh sage, roughly torn
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, to serve
- Boil the tortellini in plenty of water, until fully cooked (usually around 4 - 5 minutes).
- Meanwhile, melt the Bertolli with Butter in a large frying pan, and add the torn sage leaves and pine nuts. Cook over a fairly low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly, until the pine nuts are golden. Add the pumpkin seeds.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan. Toss to combine, and serve topped with vegetarian parmesan-style cheese.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.