I don’t often share savoury recipes on my blog, but when I do it’s usually an Italian dish, most likely pasta. Yes, I have a soft spot for pasta, even though I don’t eat it every day (unlike many fellow Italians I know). Pasta for me is a dish to share with family and friends, preferably cooked at home in a big pan and shared around the table. These tortelloni (filled with ricotta & spinach) served with a pistachio and mint pesto sauce makes a fantastic dish for a family lunch or dinner party. What’s even better: the pasta only takes two minutes to cook, so it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare this dish.
I am sharing my recipe for Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni with Pistachio & Mint Pesto today to tell you about my collaboration with La Famiglia Rana, an authentic Italian food brand that is synonym of quality, passion, innovation and family.
Back when I was still living at home with my parents in Italy, my mum would often cook fresh-filled pasta from the Rana range: ravioli cooked with a simply sage and butter for a Sunday lunch or tortellini cooked in broth for a winter warmer. La Famiglia Rana is an Italian brand I grew up with, a brand that I trust and regularly use at home in London.
If you’re not familiar with La Famiglia Rana, you’ll love finding out how the company was born. It all started in Verona in 1962, when Giovanni Rana began making tortelloni at home following in his grandmother’s footsteps. Giovanni would then deliver the tortelloni by hand to customers all around the city, going from home to home on his beloved Moto Guzzi bike. Well, his fresh-filled pasta became so popular that Giovanni never stopped making it and selling it.
Today, the family-run Rana company continues to make pasta in Verona. The pasta is still made in the same way: using Giovanni’s recipes, great quality ingredients from Italy’s larder, and a lot of love.
Of course, when I was asked to join the campaign with #lafamigliarana, I was thrilled to accept!
I received a Fresh Pasta Kit for Foodies filled with La Famiglia Rana tortelloni and ingredients to create a recipe of my choice. In the box, I found a jar of shelled pistachios (how did they know these are my favourite nuts?) and a plant of fresh mint, along with other ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I decided to make a Pistachio and Mint Pesto sauce to serve with the tortelloni.
Pistachio pesto is a variation of the traditional green pesto we all know and love. Simply replace basil with fresh mint, pine nuts with pistachios and voilà! In just five minutes, you can create a delicious and all natural pasta sauce.
Pistachio pesto is fresh and aromatic and you can choose just how much mint or garlic to use. Add a tiny bit of each ingredient to start with, then slowly add a little bit more of everything, pouring splashes of water to obtain a creamy consistency.
I love any kind of pesto sauce (homemade and store-bought) and not just on pasta: it’s a great spread on bruschetta or crostini bread for antipasto.
This pistachio and mint pesto is the perfect condiment to La Famiglia Rana’s meat-free tortelloni options, such as the Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni.
- 250g Tortelloni Rana
- 30g butter
For the pistachio and mint pesto
- 100g pistachios, shelled
- 10 small mint leaves
- 20g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml water (add more if needed)
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- salt and pepper
Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, blitz the mint leaves with a drizzle of olive oil. Add in the garlic and continue to grind. Now add in the pistachios, grated cheese and water. Continue to grind, adding a little bit of water if the mixture is too dry (one tablespoon at a time).
Keep mixing until you achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pesto into a small serving bowl.
Cook the tortelloni according to the instructions on the packet. Prepare two pasta bowls.
Drain the tortelloni and divide them between the bowls. Add the butter to the pasta, dividing it between the two portions. Mix well. Add a few spoonfuls of pistachio and mint pesto. Serve immediately.
Rana is currently stocked in independent stores, Asda, Morrisons and Ocado RP £2.50
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Rana. All opinions are my own.