Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini with Avocado and Pea Pesto

Styling: Anita Parise with Renee Lenzarini
Blog: Anita Parise
Photography & Video: Anita Parise
Recipe & Inspiration: Vegetarian dining & the last days of summer

“It’s autumn but geez doesn’t it still feel like summer GR fans? Tell me that I am not the only one who is over this humidity and will welcome with open arms the cooler changes that autumn brings! In saying that though, I am liking all the wonderful things my family can still do while the weather is warm. My family and I have taken full advantage of it and have enjoyed (as we do every year) Sculptures by the Sea, Eat and Drink Perth 2018 Festival, various night markets and so much more!

The recipe inspiration this month came to us as Renee and I sat on her balcony a few weeks ago discussing the direction for the GR Club, whilst sipping on cold glasses of prosecco and nibbling away on some divine cheeses. We both were on the same page (as we often are), in regards to what we haven’t done, what we’d like to do and most importantly, what you guys would want to see. It was agreed as it was still summery and hot that a fresh, quick and extremely easy meal was a great option to cook and shoot.

I often make pesto this time of year, as my beautiful little herb garden is overflowing with basil. It’s usually when they start to flower that I realise I have so much basil around … and what on earth am I going to do with it all! So naturally, here is where our pesto idea comes in. Instead of making the traditional pesto al Genovese (which is delicious by the way), I wanted to try something a little different. I recalled having had a breakfast dish at a local café earlier that month which included pea and avocado smash on toast. It wasn’t until we were thinking of different ideas that I wondered if these flavour combinations would work well as a pasta dressing.

I think we have nailed it with this one and above all it ticks all the boxes … quick, easy, fresh, seasonal, healthy and you will have some leftovers to be creative with! Try the pesto on pizza or an omelette, mixed into a salad dressing, stirred through roast veggies, or even as a simple dip with some tasty crackers and a few wedges of pecorino cheese! The possibilities are endless!”

Ciao for now and Buon Appetito!

Anita, Renee & the GR Team

Ingredients

*Note: This recipe will make enough pesto for 1kg of Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini. If you choose to cook 500g, enjoy the leftover pesto as a dip or lashings of it on some thick sourdough toast with a poached egg.

  • 500g of Golden Ravioli’s Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini
  • 1 x ripe avocado
  • 1 x garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts, toasted (plus extra to garnish)
  • 1 cup of peas (divided into ¾ cup for pesto and ½ cup to garnish)
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • The rind of ½ a lemon, grated
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • A splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to season
  • Grated Pecorino cheese to taste

Method

  • Firstly, place a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  • Next, place the avocado, garlic, pine nuts, peas, basil, pine nuts, lemon rind & juice and olive oil in a food processor and season generously with salt. Blend on a high speed until combined. Add extra lemon juice and olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Set aside.
  • In a small frying pan, dry fry the pine nuts until toasted and golden in colour.
  • Once the water is boiling, add the Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini and cook until al dente. Once cooked, drain and coat the tortellini with some extra virgin olive oil.
  • Spoon a few tablespoons (or more if you desire) of the pesto mixture over the tortellini and mix well.
  • When serving, add the remaining peas, toasted pine nuts and grate some fresh pecorino cheese over the top.
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