Tortellini is an impressive Italian pasta. Firstly, it has a unique shape, almost like a navel or belly button. It also has a great range, as you can use it for salads, saucy dishes, soups, and other fantastic recipes. Lastly, you can stuff it with meat, cheese, egg, and other tasty treats that make each piece taste amazing.
Such a fantastic treat is perfect for making delicious dinners, especially when served with a glass of refreshing wine. But the menu shouldn’t end there! Include effortless and tasty side dishes for tortellini, and you’ll find the whole affair elevated.
1. Garlic Bread
The first recommendation is a classic yet simple pairing to almost any pasta: garlic bread. Bread makes a perfect combination with pasta dishes because it can absorb the sauces and provides satisfying carbs. However, by choosing garlic bread over plain ones, there’s an added complexity that isn’t overwhelming. Instead, the buttery, herby, and garlicky flavors are discernible but subtle enough not to overshadow the tortellini.
Garlic bread recipes are easy – slather butter on your favorite bread, toast it, and you’re done! But if you want more effort, try making these homemade garlic knots. The flavor profile is similar to the previous one: garlicky, buttery, and savory, with a characteristic warmth and quality you only get from homemade recipes. There’s also a sharp cheesiness from the grated parmesan cheese.
Picture those soft and delicious breadsticks you’ve once had at Olive Garden – wouldn’t they be incredible with your tortellini? You don’t have to travel to the restaurant to grab a handful of those addicting treats; instead, make them at home with this simple recipe. It guides you to make them from scratch and provides tips on transforming them into variants like cinnamon sugar or cheesy breadsticks.
A tortellini dish puts your foot in the door, but a complete Italian meal will get you the ticket. Thus, pair your tortellini with Italian bread, like crostini! These crisp, toasted discs have subtle flavors and are an impressive way to recycle crusty bread, like a baguette. You can make bruschetta or serve it plain so you can use it to scoop up the tortellini pieces and their sauce!
As said, you can use your crostini to make bruschetta, a crunchy bread topped with tomatoes, herbs, spices, and other choice ingredients. There are many ways to make bruschetta, so there’s room for creativity and customization. But if you want to play safe with the flavors, opt for a great recipe like this. The Italian-style salsa on top of the bread contributes a freshness that suits your tortellini.
Leafy veggies like spinach, arugula, and kale are excellent with tortellini; some recipes even incorporate them. However, if you’ve made yours without them, no worries – serve them on the side instead. For instance, consider making sauteed spinach; it’s tender, flavorful, fresh, and healthy, making it a great match with the pasta. You can also serve it with lemon for a surprising tanginess or bacon bits for flavor.
Peas can be used to make fantastic and even classic side dishes. Indeed, this peas and pancetta recipe is a favorite with Italian meals. Its flavors complement Italian tastes and are simple enough not to throw off the main dishes. If you’re unfamiliar with pancetta, it’s an Italian cured meat offering more than just salty flavors. It has a complexity and depth that transforms, like in this dish.
Marinated mushrooms are frequently recommended with tortellini, making them an absolute must-try side dish! Interestingly, they’re easy to make. You’ll need only fresh mushrooms, vinegar, water, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and parsley. These flavors deeply penetrate the mushroom through marination, especially over time, so you can expect every piece to taste intense, fresh, and complex. Also, you can serve them on skewers like in the recipe!
Artichokes are another vegetable that’s often suggested to serve with tortellini. There are many ways to make or cook artichokes, but these Italian stuffed artichokes are best for your meal. Each is packed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, garlic, parsley, salt, and olive oil. You can add meat, but that’s optional. The combination of ingredients makes the artichokes flavorful and contributes an interesting crunchiness.
Prosciutto is also an Italian cured meat but often sliced more thinly. Thus, it can be used as a wrap for foods such as asparagus, melon, and cheese. But for side dish purposes, you’ll find this prosciutto-wrapped asparagus more appropriate. Each asparagus spear is well seasoned, crisp, and tender, wrapped in perfectly thin, flavorful meat. The whole thing is then sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano to complete the look and taste.
11. Italian Sausage
If you prefer to pair your pasta with meat and proteins, you’ll also find such choices in this article, starting with Italian sausage! Admittedly, making sausage from scratch can be effortful and time-consuming. But don’t worry; you won’t have to do that. Instead, grab your favorite brand and type from the market, and you can refer to this recipe to learn how to bake it – yes, bake – to perfection.
12. Sausage Bites
Add a sprinkle of fun to your sausage by turning them into sausage bites! While these savory treats are often served as appetizers, you can also have them as a side dish. Aside from slicing them into bite-sized pieces, the sauce makes these sausages stand out from simple, cooked sausages. They are combined and grilled with a barbecue sauce, making each piece juicy, smoky, flavorful, and tender!