If there’s one thing I learned in Italy, it’s that pasta is a snack. Essentially.
Well, it’s an appetizer, or lunch, or like a little midday nosh…which is totally a snack. While we were there we ate pasta every day, but never for dinner which is pretty much the only time we eat it here. While we were in Rome we’d split a dish of pasta in the early afternoon as a mid shopping/walking/touring refuel. In the evenings we’d get one or two pasta dishes to have as an appetizer. Or second or third course…in the multitude of little dishes that made up one lovely, multi course, lingering dinner.
Although, let’s be honest, we never had pasta like this in Italy. I’m pretty sure they’d toss me into the Mediterranean for doing this to pasta.
But, while we’re being honest…this pasta was from Trader Joe’s. I’d never deface the pasta I had in Italy like this.
But, this is delicious nonetheless.
Tortellini is cooked, dipped in eggs, then dipped in a mixture of fresh grated parmesan and extra crunchy panko breadcrumbs then baked until golden and crispy.
You could also fry them until golden and crispy. But I like to keep it healthy when consuming battered and breaded cheese stuffed pasta. Soooo….yeah.
These were perfectly complimented with a tangy, slightly sweet marinara sauce for dipping.
Dan and I finished the whole plate. Not one tortellini left behind. So, this serves two.
Thank goodness they’re baked. ‘Cuz that means the calories don’t even count. Cheers to that!
- Premade, fresh tortellini (from the refrigerated section of your grocery store; not the dry kind from a box)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- marinara sauce (jarred or homemade, on the side to dip!)
Cook your tortellini according to the package’s instructions. While you prepare your pasta, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a cookie cooling rack on top of the sheet pan. This step allows the pasta to cook all the way around and crisp up every edge. Setting them flat on the sheet pan will leave you with soggy bottomed pasta, which is just not a good time. Spray the rack and pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
Drain your cooked pasta and set up your dipping stations while the pasta cools. Have one bowl with beaten eggs and one bowl with breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Dip your pasta in the egg then dip in the breadcrumb mixture, make sure to press the breadcrumbs onto the pasta to ensure that they stick and completely cover each piece. Lay the pasta out on your baking sheet making sure no piece overlaps.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and reach your desired crispiness. Serve immediately with a side of marinara sauce to dip!