TORTELLINI WITH TOMATOES, WHITE BEANS, & SPINACH
by Julie Harrington, RD
This recipe was inspired by my boyfriend, Adrian. Adrian and tortellini have long history.
I learned from his mom that he literally would eat it every. single. day. in high school. Tortellini with Prego tomato sauce. When we started dating, that was pretty much the extent of his cooking. Oh, and PBJs. He can make a mean PBJ.
One of our favorite things to do together is cooking. Over the past 3 years, Adrian really stepped up his game in the kitchen. One of my favorite dishes he makes is a southwest quinoa dish. Maybe one of these days, Adrian will make a guest appearance on RDelicious Kitchen!
When you are dating a dietitian, a whole package of tortellini with tomato sauce just doesn’t cut it for a balanced meal. To keep his love of tortellini still on the menu for our dinners, I created a more balanced meal by adding veggies and protein.
You can make this recipe from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. It is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. What helps make this recipe quicker is the use of canned foods. Research found that canned fruits and vegetables are nutritionally similar to fresh or frozen and in some cases, even better. For example, canned tomatoes have more lycopene, which is associated with reducing cancer risk and has more B vitamins than fresh tomatoes. Canning also helps make fiber in certain vegetables, like beans, more soluble and therefore more useful to the human body. (source)
- 1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added, italian seasoned, diced tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves, torn
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- (optional) parmesan cheese
- Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and white beans and bring to a boil. Stir in spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until spinach has wilted.
- Add the tortellini to the pan. Add the basil and let everything heat through, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve and sprinkle with cheese.
Julie Harrington is a registered dietitian living in New Jersey. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition at Johnson & Wales University and then completed her dietetic internship at the College of Saint Elizabeth. She works at a grocery store in northern NJ as a Supermarket RD. On the side, she is a private chef for a family, a spin instructor, and writes the blog RDelicious Kitchen. She believes that no food is off limits and loves to teach people how to incorporate the foods they love in a healthy way.