Aldi sometimes sells a fantastic pesto macaroni and cheese boxed kit consisting of a powdered pesto sauce mix and shell noodles. I usually stock up on several boxes when it makes its rare appearance at the discount grocery store. From time to time, Aldi ups its game and sells a pesto tortellini boxed kit that is even more amazing. Again, I buy multiple boxes when I see it.
Specially Selected Pesto Tortellini was $2.99 for a 6.5-oz. box at the time of publication. It consists of “traditional cheese-filled pasta from Italy in a rich and creamy pesto sauce.” It’s an ALDI Find (Special Buy), which means it is only in stores for a limited time, and once it’s gone, you’ll have to wait several months before it shows up on the shelves again.
One box contains two servings, with one 2/3-cup serving netting you 390 calories, 14 grams of total fat (18% DV), 6 grams of saturated fat (30% DV), 1100 mg of sodium (48% DV)(!), 49 grams of total carbohydrates (18% DV), 2 grams of dietary fiber (7%), 8 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of added sugars, and 16 grams of protein.
Because it’s a processed convenience food, it’s got a lengthy list of ingredients. People with allergies should be aware that it contains wheat, milk, and egg. It may also contain soy and crustacean (shrimp).
Cooking instructions are for the stove top. To prepare the tortellini, pour 2 1/2 cups of unsalted cold water and the contents of both the tortellini pouch and the sauce pouch into an 8-inch-diameter pot. Bring to a boil and stir well. Then cook uncovered over medium heat for 18-20 minutes. Cooking time may vary, depending on the kind of heating source used. Stir occasionally until water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand with lid on for 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with cheese if desired.
When I cook this pesto tortellini, there is usually still a large amount of liquid after the noodles have been cooking for 18-20 minutes, so it does not all get absorbed as the instructions state. If I let it stand for a few minutes, more of it does get absorbed and/or thickens up.
I like to stir in about 1/3 of a cup of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese before serving. The people in my house who like pesto love this fancier take on a traditional mac and cheese meal. It makes a good lunch, either at home on a weekend or packed into a thermos to eat at school or work, or it serves as a nice side dish to go alongside a steak dinner.
Specially Selected Pesto Tortellini is the perfect combination of savory pesto sauce and cheese pasta. It’s not very healthy, with high levels of sodium, but it’s a delicious once-in-a-while indulgence.