A quick homemade arugula pesto dresses this simple broccoli and tortellini salad recipe. Serve with fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2012


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Put a large pot of water on to boil.

  • With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube of a food processor; process until minced. Turn it off and add arugula, cheese, oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts, lemon zest and salt. Process, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the mixture is fairly smooth; leave the pesto in the food processor while you cook the tortellini.

  • Cook tortellini in the boiling water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes or according to package directions. Place broccoli in a colander and set it in the sink. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta-cooking liquid, then pour the tortellini and the rest of the cooking liquid over the broccoli in the colander. (Pouring the hot pasta and cooking liquid over the broccoli "flash-cooks" it, leaving it bright green and tender-crisp.)

  • Add the reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to the pesto in the food processor; pulse to combine. Transfer the tortellini and broccoli to a large bowl. Toss with the pesto. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Nutrition Facts

445 calories; protein 16.1g 32% DV; carbohydrates 45.3g 15% DV; exchange other carbs 3; dietary fiber 5g 20% DV; sugars 1.6g; fat 23.2g 36% DV; saturated fat 4.6g 23% DV; cholesterol 34.6mg 12% DV; vitamin a iu 2231IU 45% DV; vitamin c 58.7mg 98% DV; folate 61.7mcg 15% DV; calcium 141.8mg 14% DV; iron 1.3mg 7% DV; magnesium 47.4mg 17% DV; potassium 313.7mg 9% DV; sodium 604.9mg 24% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 8% DV.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I halved this recipe and it was still enough to feed four. Very tasty and the "flash cooking" of the broccoli left it crunchy and fresh. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is so great! We loved this recipe. Tortellini is so good but I get sick of it in soups. This such a light and fulfilling way to enjoy it! Pros: Flavor ease speed Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Can't get enough of this pesto! The arugula pesto is delicious and easy. Used it on some small garlic toasts at a party with cocktails. Topped tomato halves with it and put under the broiler. Thinned it with some more oil and used as a salad dressing. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Simplified Recipe We found this to be very tasty. Easy to make. Especially since I used store bought pesto. This made it quite easy to make. Pros: Quick easy and delicious Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I really enjoyed this! The lemon zest added brightness to the flavor and the method of pouring the pasta water over the broccoli was a great time saver. This is a great summer recipe with barely any cooking. Because I wanted something less rich I halved the parmesan and the olive oil (subbing in extra pasta water). I also omitted the pine nuts to cut costs a little. Read More