20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Dinner, Some Gouda Times | June 22, 2016 | By

This 20 minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PickedAtPeak #CollectiveBias #ad

20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

We had a bumper crop of tomatoes last year ~ I’m talking tomatogeddon, so store-bought sauce wasn’t on my radar. The tomato season here in the Midwest doesn’t last long though; usually 4-6 weeks at best, so we harvest, share, freeze, share and freeze some more until there’s no more room in the freezer. I chopped, roasted, sautéed and simmered my way to a freezer full of marinara (among other tomato dishes). But by early spring the only sign left of tomatogeddon and my homemade marinara was the faint aroma of garlic that refused to leave my fingertips. Actually, I kind of like that aroma, but that’s for another post. I used to make 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara during ‘tomato season’, but a homemade marinara turned this 20 minute dish into 60. I was intrigued by the NEW Prego® Farmers’ Market sauces now available in Walmart stores. When I read the label ~ the same farm-fresh ingredients picked at just the right time that I use in my own homemade garden-fresh marinara ~ I jumped.

20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Marinara doesn’t need to be fancy, but to be really delicious it does need to be made with fresh ingredients ~ tomatoes, basil, onions. . .and garlic. I was spoiled by the tomatoes and herbs from my garden and other vegetables from my local farmer’s market. Adding fresh herbs and in-season produce elevates the flavor of any meal including this 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara, an easy, one-skillet dish, easily making it entertaining-worthy. I love shopping my local farmer’s market. I chat with the farmers every time I go and always pick up a tip or two. I know I can trust the freshness of the produce I find there. 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini MarinaraThat same trust is also as close as my local Walmart. 20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

Walmart is one-stop shopping. The tomatoes, asparagus and basil are all in the produce department ~ which just happens to be near the bakery and some of the freshest bread you’ll find anywhere. Here’s where you can find the NEW Prego® Farmers’ Market Sauces and the tortellini you’ll need for this recipe:20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

Three great flavor options ~ classic marinara, roasted garlic and tomato basil. I tried all of them and each is a winner.

From the first spoonful I had right out of the jar (I won’t judge if you do the same) to the last bite of the finished recipe this Prego® Farmers’ Market sauce is loaded with delicious flavor. This meal comes together in just 20 minutes with only 6 ingredients (not counting a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper).

20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Here’s the list:

  1. Prego® Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara
  2. 1 – small bunch of asparagus or  about 1 ½ cups (narrower stalks are more tender)
  3. 1 – cup of grape tomatoes cut in half
  4. 9 ounces of packaged tortellini 
  5. ¼ cup of fresh basil
  6. ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese (+ more for individual plates) 

20 minutes ’til dinner:

First wash the asparagus, snap off the dry, woody ends, then chop it into about 1 1/2″ pieces. 

If you’re new to fresh asparagus, the ends can be bitter and need to be snapped off before cooking. Just hold the stalk in your hands and bend until it snaps. It’ll break where the bitter part ends and the tasty part begins.

Did you know asparagus can grow 6-10 inches a day in peak growing season? 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Next, wash the grape tomatoes and cut them in half. 20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini MarinaraIn a deep skillet drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes over medium heat. Drop in the chopped asparagus, combining and continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini MarinaraLower the heat, pour in the Prego® Classic Marinara and the tortellini, combining so the tortellini is coated with the sauce. I used spinach-cheese tortellini but there are a lot of varieties, including a whole wheat version that’s also delicious.20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

Cover and cook over low heat 7-12 minutes or according to package directions, stirring occasionally until the tortellini is al dente and the asparagus is just tender. Cooking times will vary depending upon the brand of tortellini used so check your individual package. As this dish cooks, the tortellini absorbs all that yummy flavor of the Prego® Classic Marinara for an over-the-top meal no one will believe took just 20 minutes to make.20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

Are you familiar with how to chiffonade fresh basil? It’s easy! Stack the basil leaves on top of each other starting with the largest leaf and finishing with the smallest on top, then roll them into what sort of looks like a cigar. Slice the ‘cigar’ into thin ribbons, then use your fingers to separate them. That’s it!20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara

A note about the parmesan cheese. Freshly shredded or grated cheese (any kind) just tastes better. That’s not to say I don’t use pre-shredded cheese ~ I do. But for a dish like this where it’s all about fresh taste and ingredients, I would recommend buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself.

Sprinkle on the basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese and gently blend. Grate a bit more parmesan over the top of each serving. It’s important to use fresh basil in this recipe. Dried basil won’t give the same results.

20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara is a delicious and hearty meatless meal, but if you have leftover or rotisserie chicken you can dice it and add it to the skillet while the tortellini is cooking. 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE EASY WEEKNIGHT MEAL? WHICH **NEW PREGO® FARMERS’ MARKET SAUCE WILL YOU TRY NEXT?

20 minute asparagus tortellini marinara

20 Minute Asparagus Tortellini Marinara
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - jar of Prego® Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara
  2. 1 – small bunch of asparagus or about 1 ½ cups (narrower stalks are more tender)
  3. 1 – cup of grape tomatoes cut in half
  4. 9 ounces of packaged tortellini
  5. ¼ cup of fresh basil
  6. ¼ cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese (+ more for individual plates)
  7. 1 - tablespoon of olive oil
  8. 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, or to taste
Instructions
  1. First wash the asparagus and snap off the dry, woody ends (see above for more info)
  2. Wash the grape tomatoes and cut them in half.
  3. In a deep skillet drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Add the tomatoes, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Drop in the chopped asparagus, combining and continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Lower the heat and pour in the Prego® Classic Marinara and the tortellini, combining so the tortellini is coated with the sauce.
  7. Cover and simmer over low heat 7-12 minutes or according to package directions, stirring occasionally until the tortellini is al dente and the asparagus is just tender. Cooking times will vary depending upon the brand of tortellini used so check your individual package.
  8. Chiffonade the basil and add it and the 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan to the skillet.
  9. Gently fold.
  10. Grate additional parmesan over each individual serving.
Notes
  1. (1) Fresh basil is recommended for this recipe. Dried won’t give the same results.
  2. (2)This is a delicious and hearty meatless meal, but if you have leftover or rotisserie chicken you can dice it and add it to the skillet while the tortellini is cooking.
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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Kylee from Kylee Cooks
    June 22, 2016

    This looks really good. The new sauces really are good quality and taste as fresh as if you’d canned it yourself.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your permanently garlicky fingers! Lol.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 22, 2016

      Hi Kylee ~ thank you! You’re right about the quality of the sauces — top notch — makes me wonder why I’m babysitting tomato plants all summer! I’m sure there will be more garlicky finger episodes, among other kitchen escapades 🙂 Take care.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Mar
    June 22, 2016

    Looks delicious! I love asparagus, and love taking advantage when its in season.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 23, 2016

      Thank you! Asparagus is one of my favorites too. The season definite isn’t long enough 🙂

  3. Leave a Reply

    Lauren
    June 22, 2016

    This looks DELISH! Love a quick, hearty & fresh meal. I never used to be an asparagus person, but I am a huge fan now 🙂 I’ll be picking up a jar on my next shopping trip!

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 23, 2016

      Thank you Lauren! You know I have high standards for marinara. This one is as close to my own as I’ve tasted. Enjoy!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Carolyn West
    June 22, 2016

    You’ve got my mouth watering. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked tortellini IN the sauce before but it makes sense. What a great dish. #client

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 23, 2016

      Hi Carolyn! I love how the tortellini absorbs some of the flavors of the sauce – – makes it even tastier. Thank you so much!

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 23, 2016

      Nicole, it’s definitely easy ~ from a time standpoint and on the budget. Thank YOU for stopping by and your kind words. 🙂

  5. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    June 23, 2016

    What a great recipe for a quick meal. I’ll have to check out those Prego sauces. I’m totally in favor of using fresh tasting convenience products. Cheese has to be fresh not pre-shredded…fresh is best! Pinned. Thanks for sharing. Take care.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Ray
    June 23, 2016

    The flavor and aroma is fabulous. A little bread, with real butter is all you need to add.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      June 23, 2016

      Glad you enjoyed Ray! Fresh bakery bread with butter always hits the spot with a pasta dish 🙂

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