Kitchen Exhibitionist
The Culinary Quests of a Food Enthusiast Stuck in the Sticks
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Finger Food – Tortellini with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Finger Food – Tortellini with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Well, you really should use toothpicks, not fingers, to pluck these toothsome morsels from platter to palate. Even so, it is perfect crowd-pleasing finger food.

People of all ages go crazy for these pizza-flavored bites of plump, cheese-stuffed pasta pillows flecked with a flavorful sauce made of sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pepperoni, and fennel seeds. This is equally good served warm, room temperature or cold.

Tortellini with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Adapted from a pasta salad recipe from
The Nantucket Open House Cookbook

2 pounds of three-cheese tortellini
4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small dice
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 jar (7 oz) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions until just tender. Drain well.

Prepare the pesto: Place pepperoni, mustard, garlic, fennel seed, and sun-dried tomatoes (with their oil) in food processor with steel blade and process until smooth. With machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube and continue processing until the mixture is smooth. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Combine the tortellini and pesto in large bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with basil.

Serve warm or room temperature on a platter with toothpicks.

Serves a crowd.

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