Pasta is the perfect weekday family meal but its versatility means it can be dressed up or down to suit every occasion. Often in the UK we tend to over-complicate things with our pasta, however in Italy they keep it simple and let the ingredients and flavours shine through. Bertolli have recently teamed up with chef Gennaro Contaldo to help #ShowPastaSomePassion using Bertolli with Butter.
Gennaro believes that simple pasta is delicious, and has been working with Bertolli to share some of his favourite recipes so we can all show pasta some passion. Bertolli with Butter gives a rich, buttery taste combined with a touch of Mediterranean sunshine from the finest olive oil. It really does give you the best of both worlds. In terms of cooking you get the flavour of butter without the worry that it will burn, plus it contains 45% less saturated fat than cooking with butter alone. It can be used anywhere that you would normally use butter from spreading it on crusty Italian bread to cooking up a storm.
The long school summer holidays have already kicked off in Scotland. Alas we're not heading to foreign climes this year but my 13 year old foodie boy was my sous chef to cook up Gennaro's Italian recipe. Who am I kidding? In reality I am his sous chef! He's a bit of a pasta making master and recently spent a day making and colouring a wonderful selection of tagliatelle, lasagne sheets and farafalle. The stunning natural colours came from beetroot, spinach and tomato. I hope Gennaro would be impressed with Kyle's passion for pasta.
We adapted Gennaro's Ricotta & Lemon Ravioli served with Bertolli with Butter and Mint sauce recipe to our own Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini served with Bertolli with Butter and Mint sauce. In my mind a recipe is only ever the starting point for a dish and I pretty much always put my own twist on things. No need to panic when the supermarket doesn't have Ricotta & Lemon Ravioli. The Spinach and Ricotta Tortellini made a perfect substitute but kept to the essence of the original. I wanted to boost the veg content of the dish so I served it on top of a bed of spinach, rocket and watercress and added my absolute favourite vegetable Edamame (soya) beans into the pasta mix. When it comes to Parmesan cheese I can't get enough of the stuff so instead of grating it over the top we used a vegetable peeler to make chunky shavings.
Whilst the minty buttery sauced tasted duly amazing with the tortellini it would be equally good tossed in a simple dish of al dente spaghetti. I know that there are specific shapes of pasta that are supposed to go with specific consistencies of sauces but I reckon Bertolli with Butter, Mint, Lemon and Parmesan could work with them all.
To discover all nine of Gennaro's authentic pasta recipes visit the Bertolli website and be sure keep an eye out on social media for the hashtags #BertolliWithButter and #ShowPastaSomePassion.
Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini with a Bertolli with Butter & Mint sauce
Adapted from the original Gennaro Contaldo recipe
This dish comes from Gennaro’s home village of Minori where wonderful fresh ricotta is made and beautiful large lemons grow. The creaminess of Bertolli with Butter is perfectly contrasted by the fresh mint and lemon, creating a delicious pasta sauce.
400 g ready-made spinach and ricotta tortellini
100g frozen Edamame beans
60 g Bertolli with Butter + extra knob
handfuls fresh mint leaves only
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
140g bag of Watercress, Spinach and Rocket Salad
40 g shaved Parmesan cheese (or vegetarian alternative)
- Bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to the boil. Gennaro’s tip: use lightly salted water to cook pasta in.
- Add the Edamame beans and allow the water to come back to the boil. Then add the tortellini and cook for a couple of minutes until they rise to the surface. My tip: don't allow the water to boil too vigorously or your run the risk of your filled pasta bursting.
- Meanwhile, heat Bertolli with Butter in a large frying pan with the mint leaves.
- Add lemon juice and cook on a gentle heat until the Bertolli with Butter begins to bubble.
- Drain the tortellini using a colander or slotted spoon.
- Add tortellini to the sauce with a little of the pasta water and an extra knob of Bertolli with Butter.
- Toss well over the heat for a minute until nicely coated.
- Divide the watercress, spinach and rocket salad between 4 bowls and serve the Spinach & Ricotta Tortolini with Bertolli with Butter and Mint sauce on top.
- Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan, lemon zest and black pepper.