Tortellini with Avocado-Pea Pesto

sliced avocado; Tortellini with Avocado-Pea Pesto; recipe from the UW Health Learning Kitchen


Rich in healthy fatty acids and skin-friendly vitamins and antioxidants, the avocado that creates a creamy sauce for this healthy recipe from the UW Health Learning Kitchen can help improve the condition of your skin from the inside. Avocados are a great source of vitamin E, which boosts the skin's vitality and luminosity. Avocados are also high in vitamin C, which can reduce skin inflammation. The tomatoes in this recipe also provide a skin boost, full of lycopene, an antioxidant credited with protecting against skin-aging damage from the sun's ultraviolet rays.



  • 9 oz. pkg. whole wheat cheese tortellini 
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and pitted 
  • 1 cup spring peas 
  • ¼ cup fresh basil 
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine nuts) 
  • Zest and juice of ½ medium lemon 
  • ¼ tsp. coarse salt + more to taste 
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper 
  • ¼ - ½ cup + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese 



  1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions. Drain and place in a bowl. 
  2. Combine avocado, peas, basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, lemon zest and juice, ¼ tsp. Salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. While pulsing, drizzle up to ½ cup olive oil into the mixture, scraping sides regularly with a spatula, until pesto reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Place in the refrigerator. 
  3. Heat a cast iron grill pan to medium-high. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Place tomatoes in the hot pan and cook 1-3 minutes, until tomatoes are blistered. 
  4. Mix the pesto with the tortellini. Serve hot or cold with blistered tomatoes and garnish with Parmesan cheese. 


Serves 6