Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham

Before this recipe I had not attempted anything that contained “Brown Butter” since it sounded too fancy and I was sure that I would screw it up somehow as I have a habit if getting distracted in the kitchen. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I thought! Since it was impossible for me to imagine this dish without some garlic I stuck a glove in with the butter to give it some flavor. I did try to crush a clove in as well but ended up picking out the pieces since they got hard and burnt.

One of the things that made me pick this recipe was the limited amount of ingredients and their lack of oddness. I hate to buy random ingredients I will never use again for recipes. All you need is some sort of cheese tortellini, a bag of spinach, some chopped ham, a pepper and some butter.

Although the recipe called for just cheese tortellini I found these colorful ones and Costco and I think they made it super pretty.

I chopped up my pepper with my food chopper and tossed that and the diced ham in with the browned butter.

One note about the butter, I ALWAYS use unsalted butter when cooking, I would much rather add my sodium after my dish is done and only as much as I think it needs. The nutritional info below does not reflect the use of unsalted butter but I recommend it as there are plenty of other places we splurge on salt, butter does not need to be one of them.

Brown Butter Tortellini with Spinach & Ham –

Adapted from a Pampered Chef recipe

1   pkg (20 oz or 700 g) refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
1   pkg (6 oz/175 g) fresh baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups/2 L) 1
8-oz (250-g) piece cooked ham steak or cubed ham
1   large red bell pepper
1/4   cup (50 mL) butter
One garlic clove
Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

  • To cook tortellini, bring salted water to a boil in (4-qt./4-L) Casserole; add tortellini and cook according to package directions.
  • As tortellini cook, place spinach into large Colander. Dice ham with knife. Finely dice bell pepper. Drain tortellini over spinach in Colander.
  • Add butter to (12-in./30-cm) Skillet; heat over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until butter is a deep brown color, occasionally swirling Skillet. Add garlic clove and swirl it around in the butter. Remove garlic before adding veggies.
  •  As soon as the butter is the correct color immediately add bell pepper. Reduce heat to low; add ham, tortellini and spinach. Gently toss to coat. If your pan is too small transfer everything to a larger bowl. At this point taste your dish and make any seasoning adjustments you want (salt, pepper, ect)
  • To serve, spoon tortellini mixture onto serving plates. Sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrients per serving: Calories 380, Total Fat 13 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 65 mg, Carbohydrate 48 g, Protein 19 g, Sodium 1050 mg, Fiber 5 g