Runner recipes: Bell pepper and jackfruit tortellini


Bell pepper and jackfruit tortellini is a simple way to upgrade the classic dish.

Destinee Sims, Opinions Editor

With the currently limited availability of most grocery items, college students are left trying to turn a handful of items into a delicious meal. In most cases, students seem to feel that they must choose between something healthy and something tasty. Well, good news; most of the items needed to make bell pepper and jackfruit tortellini can still be purchased at local whole food stores and grocers like Trader Joe’s. This mouthwatering quick and easy meal is perfect for students looking for a cheap (and cheesy) way to get in their vitamins and proteins.

Yield: 2-3 servings
Prep time: approximately 10 minutes
Cook time: approximately 30 minutes

1 package of tortellini. While you could make the tortellini from scratch, I recommend Trader Joe’s for $2.99 as a tasty and ready-to-cook option.
1 standard sized jar of alfredo sauce
1 red bell pepper
¼ can of jackfruit. I recommend Trader Joe’s for $1.99 per can.
1 tbsp Italian seasoning. I use a premixed blend; however, you can make your own.
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½-2 tbsp minced garlic

Optional Ingredients:
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh parmesan for garnish
½ unsalted butter

Destinee Sims
This colorful dish provides a tasty way to include more diverse vegetables in your diet.

Drain the liquid from the can of jackfruit. Once this is done, remove the jackfruit from the can itself. The jackfruit will easily begin to separate in your hands, so gently peel apart the meat of the fruit. The seed will be slightly firmer, allowing you to identify and remove the seed’s “pod.” Only the very inner, tougher portion of the seed should be thrown away, although that is for preference. The tougher meat surrounding the seed can also be torn and cooked. To save time, I put the jackfruit into the skillet it will be cooked in.

Wash the red bell pepper and cut it in half. Remove the seeds as well as the stem and core. These can be disposed of or composted. Finely chop the remaining bell pepper and add it to the skillet.

Set aside ½ tbsp of the garlic and add the remaining to the skillet. I recommend 1 tbsp for those who aren’t a huge fan of garlic, and 2 tbsp for garlic lovers. However, this can be adjusted to preference.

Add the Italian seasoning. Ensure the seasoning blend covers all ingredients equally.

Now add the water and olive oil. Raising the heat to medium-high, frequently stir the vegetable mixture. The vegetables should soften as the water is cooked out. If the vegetables are not soft enough after the water has completely evaporated, continue to add water in small amounts.

When the vegetables have achieved the desired softness, typically taking twenty minutes, remove them from heat.

Place the tortellini in a pot with the remaining ½ tbsp of garlic. Add water until the noodles are thoroughly covered.

The tortellini should boil for 4-7 minutes, or until soft. Once the noodles have achieved the desired softness, drain them.

Place the noodles back in the pot after they have been drained. If you are opting to add butter and mozzarella, do so now. Add the vegetable blend to the pot as well, and thoroughly mix it all together.

Place a serving on either a plate or in a bowl, and add any desired parmesan.

You now have a delicious, vitamin-packed pasta, ready to enjoy.

Have a recipe that you would like to share that would be perfect for college students? Send it to The Runner at [email protected]!