ISO: Best Tortellini
Thanks to the cooking gurus over at the home cooking board, I recently mastered making Pesto Sauce... Soo good...
One of my favorite ways to eat Pesto is with Tortellini But seeing as how I just mastered the Pesto sauce part, I not exactly ready to tackle making my own stuffed pasta (The day will come however!)... So I was wondering... What is the BEST store bought Tortellini? There are frozen kind, fresh kind, dried kind? I'm sure different brands at different price points... I don't have a preference to any one, I just want the BEST tasting, cooking not too big and stuffed with flavorful cheese Tortellini...
Local L.A. Italian Store brands okay too just let me know where to find them regardless of at Safeway or Bay Cities! :)
Costco has Monterey Pasta Co. cheese ravioli that are the best non-home made ravioli I have ever eaten. So if they also have tortellini I bet they are really great too. If you eat meat, next time you're in SF try the prosciutto tortellini (ask for fresh, not frozen) at Molinari Deli on Columbus in Northbeach.
I'd argue with Ruth about the goodness of dried tortellini - that's what you'll usually be served in broth at a restaurant in Italy, and the flavors tend to be much more assertive than those of the fresh ones. The only problem is getting them cooked to the right level without their falling apart, which takes some practice (but then you get to eat a lot of tortellini, which ain't all bad!). The semi-dry Barilla bagged varieties are the real winners here: as flavorful as dry, and easier to cook. They are a lot more expensive than the boxed kind, but very yummy.
I haven't tried any of the TJ frozen kinds. Guess I'll have to.
I always confuse pasta brands, but I think it's Barilla Tortellini (the one with the commercial where two guys win the competition against all the italian housewives making pasta from scratch). Surprisingly good, though on the dry shelf section, not dry at all. They're packed in those fresh-pack vacuum seal type of bags, and the filling is not dried out at all. I liked all 3 varieties they offered.
I'd say skip the dried tortellini -- what filling could be good dried and reconstituted?
Trader Joe's has a couple of sizes of fresh tortellini in their refrigerated section. They have an artichoke filled pasta (don't remember if it was tortellini or some other shape, or if it was fresh or frozen -- bad chowhound!) that was pretty good and would be good with pesto.
Meanwhile, I like to mainline my pesto. Smearing it on some bread and sticking it under the broiler until it's bubbly and starting to brown is a good, quick fix.