When I make pulled pork barbecue, whether cooked low and slow on the smoker, or by the crock pot method (below), I usually make enough so I can portion it out and freeze it to use for other quick dinner recipes later. I was inspired on one such occasion to create this non-traditional pasta dish because who says tortellini should only be served with Marinara or Alfredo sauce? I love spinach and cheese tortellini, and I love good barbecue, so let’s put them together. What follows is now a favorite with our family and friends. BBQ Tortellini is an excellent dish for leftover barbecue. Pork can be cooked and pulled ahead of time and frozen, to be thawed and served with the tortellini, sauce and vegetables at a later date. Here I give you a no-fault way to cook crock pot pulled pork, but there are of course many ways to cook the barbecue. If you have your barbecue already, skip down to “To Prepare Tortellini and Sauce”…
Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder
3 tsp salt, divided
2 tsp black pepper, divided
4 tsp garlic powder, divided
2 tsp chili powder
1 (12 oz) can beer
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (12 oz) boxes Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp white sugar
5 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp ground mustard
1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp Cayenne pepper (optional)
Directions for Crock Pot Barbecue
Mix:2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp garlic powder and 2 tsp chili powder. Spread rub generously all over meat. Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick spray, and pour beer in bottom of crock pot. Set meat in, cover and cook on low for 9 hours. If necessary, open once after about 5-6 hours and drain some liquid. Remove meat and drain all liquid after 9 hours. Put meat on a baking pan and pull apart into chunks with two forks, removing bones and fat. At this point, BBQ can be portioned out and frozen for later use if need be.
To Prepare Tortellini and Sauce
Saute’: Green pepper, onion, remaining garlic powder and olive oil until just transparent. Do not overcook. Set aside.
Cook: Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortellini, according to package directions and drain.
Stir: Ketchup, water, vinegar, sugars, onion powder, mustard, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, molasses, hot sauce, Cayenne pepper (if adding) and remaining salt and black pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Add 3 heaping cups of pulled pork and the saute’ed vegetables to the sauce and heat through about 3-4 minutes. Serve over tortellini and enjoy!