My friend Carrie is amazing. I have known her for about 10 years and I love her to death. Once upon a time she spent a year living on a boat, and she was the cook. She made this recipe in mass quantities, and recently emailed it to me because she thought I might be interested in making it. Well, yes. I was interested. The huge amount of vegetables was intriguing. Though the recipe calls for chicken, omitting it does not change the quality of the meal.
So, obviously I significantly divided the recipe and made maybe 3-4 servings versus 20. Making this change forced me to actually practice eyeballing how much of an ingredient to add to things. Who knew I could make a roux without specifically being told how much flour to add? I surprise myself every day. Speaking of the roux, I used about 1 tablespoon of butter instead of a whole stick because it was only for the two of us.
This was delicious. We both really enjoyed it. Make sure you get a good pesto because it is definitely the strongest flavor in the dish. I would skip the salt next time because the pesto I bought was pretty high in the sodium department, so keep an eye on that as well. All in all, a make-again!
Chicken Pesto Tortellini
Recipe by my friend Carrie
My neighbor wanted this recipe because her kids loved it and I thought of you and your cooking as I was typing it up. It's made for a huge group (I got it from the boat I worked on :), but you can cut it down to serve less. You can obviously omit the chicken (that's what we did on the boat to save money) and substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth.
Tortellini for at least 15 people
1 stick butter
Flour (for roux)
1 can chicken broth
2 packs cream cheese
1 large half-and-half
chicken* if desired
1 package green pesto
Garlic (fresh or minced)
Salt and pepper
1. Boil water for tortellini. Follow directions on package.
2. Dice all veggies and cook in a little oil in the following order: garlic, asparagus, brocolli, zucchinni/squash, mushrooms. (Asaparagus takes longer to cook than mushrooms, so dice asparagus, put in pan to cook while you dice brocolli, then add to pan while you dice squahes, etc.)
3. Drain liquid then season to taste with oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.
4. *If using chicken, dice and cook in separate pan. Season with a little salt and pepper.
5. In non-stick pan, melt 1 stick of butter. After melted, add flour until it turns into a paste. Let cook for a little bit, stirring constantly, so the floury taste goes away. Add can of chicken broth and heat until warm then add one package of cream cheese. Stir with a whisk until cheese is broken up then add half and half until the sauce is creamy. (If too thin, add more cream cheese. If too thick, add more half & half.) Stir constantly or it will burn. Add pesto at the end and stir.
6. Drain pasta then pour everything into one large pan and mix. YUMMY!
Yield: This recipe is made to serve 15-20 people.