Kale Pesto Tortellini Paired with an Arneis #winePW

Kale Pesto Tortellini with Arneis for #winePW

Happy birthday, Wine Pairing Weekend! Last June, we started the monthly #winePW event to bring together bloggers who like to focus on the interplay of good food and wine pairings. Today we kick off the second year of Wine Pairing Weekend with something new–focusing on a specific grape varietal. Nope, not a household name grape like Chardonnay or Cab; today we are coming up with pairings for Arneis, an Italian white grape varietal. Thanks to Valerie from Girls Gotta Drink for hosting and bringing us this new idea!

Italy has literally thousands of grape varietals, so it’s a great place to explore new wines. Perfect for #winePW, too, because Italian wines tend to be very food friendly.

I had tried and enjoyed Arneis a few times before, but I didn’t know a lot about it before this #winePW. Val’s got some great background info on the grape in her intro post on the topic. I didn’t know prior to reading her post that Arneis means “little rascal” or that it used to be blended with Nebbiolo to soften the tannins.

kale pesto tortellini recipe from Cooking Chat

What to make to go with a bottle of Arneis? Seafood tends to go well with a lot of Italian whites, but I’d been doing a lot of grilled fish lately and was ready for something different. Then I read Val’s description of a typical Arneis–the medium body and citrus element made me think it might go well with pesto. I was making this on a busy weekend, and landed on the idea of simply tossing some kale pesto with some frozen cheese tortellini. A few sliced multi-colored cherry tomatoes on top added nicely to the presentation. I’m always looking for more ways to use my healthy kale pesto! Let’s see how that kale pesto tortellini worked out with the Arneis…

2013 Guidobono Arneis Italian white wine pairs well with kale pesto, and is good for summer sipping.Wine Pairing: I chose a bottle of 2013 Guidobono Roero Arneis ($15). Val also noted 2013 Arneis tends to have higher acidity than some, which bode well for pairing with pesto. Roero is a small DOCG in the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s particularly well-known for Arneis, but I’ve also enjoyed Nebbiolo from Roero produced by Guidobono.

This Arneis has a light straw color in the glass. Clean taste with a bit of melon. Refreshes the palate after a bite of the pesto, which has a bit of kick. Sign of a good pairing when a sip of the wine whets the appetite for another bite of the food! I give the Arneis with Kale Pesto Tortellini pairing a thumbs up!

The wine is on the light side in terms of style and body, making for easy sipping as the weather gets warmer. Definitely a good wine for summer sipping, as well as for food pairing.

Kale Pesto Tortellini
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Healthy kale pesto tossed with cheese tortellini for an easy and tasty entree.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3 servings
  • 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup (or a tad more) grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ozs cheese tortellini
  • 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
  1. Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, from the pine nuts through the olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency.
  3. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain the tortellini.
  4. Toss the tortellini with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pesto, stir to combine well. Plate and serve with the extra kale pesto at the table, so people can decide how much pesto they would like on their tortellini. top with a few of the sliced tomatoes, if using.

If you’d like to find more healthy recipes featuring kale pesto and other healthy green dishes, be sure to check out my Collards & Kale Cookbook!

Kale Pesto Tortellini


    • Cooking Chat says

      Thanks for being a regular Jen! And I’ve enjoyed the #ItalianFWT that gives us another good food/wine Saturday each month.

  1. says

    Nice call on the pesto, David. Especially now that the basil is starting to really grow, it’s time to harvest fresh from the garden!

  2. says

    I love your statement Sign of a good pairing when a sip of the wine whets the appetite for another bite of the food! It is absolutely true. Your dish looks fantastic and I love the addition of the colored tomatoes. I will have to steal that the next time I make pesto.

  3. says

    As always, amazing food. The pairing looks delicious. Happy Birthday to #winePW, and thanks David for starting it all. We have really enjoyed the challenge of #winePW. It has made us think more critically about pairing food and wine. I’m so happy to participate. Cheers!

  4. says

    I can’t believe we’ve been going strong for 1 year! Thanks for all your hard work getting this wonderful group going! Your kale pest would be wonderful with the Arneis. Now we need to find another bottle to try all these delicious pairings!

  5. Diana Zahuranec says

    I adore different kinds of pesto. This looks amazing.. Healthy and delicious! Yum…just wish I could find kale easier over here. There is a place where I can find a mix of collard and field greens, and while it’s not kale, I bet it would work great too.

    I’m glad to join the #WinePW group — exactly a year after it started!

  6. says

    I didn’t realize it’s been a year David! Congratulations! I love being part of #winePW (I’ll host one of these days). As for your dish…it looks fabulous. And congrats on the cookbook too!


  1. […] Prep and serving notes: You’ll find many recipes on Cooking Chat that incorporate pesto. You can scroll through the pesto recipes at this link. You will find a number of those links involve kale pesto. You can use the pumpkin seed instead of pine nut substitution in any of those recipes, including the kale pesto. […]

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