Pasta Appetizer Recipes

Coming from an Italian background, I believe past can be used for every meal, any course, including dessert!  But today we are going to focus on pasta appetizers.  While Pasta as a first course is not uncommon, sometimes finding a good recipe can be difficult.  So today we are going to share a few of our favorites!



Prepare a 10-ounce package of refrigerated tortellini according to package directions; drain, and let cool to room temperature. Pulse 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, and ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, add 1/3 cup olive oil in a slow stream and blend until well combined. Toss the cooked tortellini with the sauce and thread onto toothpicks or skewers alternating with pitted black olives, fresh basil leaves and small yellow pear tomatoes or red grape tomatoes.



Mustard-DillTortellini Salad Skewers


  • 1 (9-oz.) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 (8-oz.) package frozen sugar snap peas
  • 68 (4-inch) wooden skewers
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette*


1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water.

2. Place sugar snap peas in a small bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes. Let stand, covered, 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water.

3. Thread each skewer with 1 sugar snap pea, 1 tortellini, and 1 tomato half. Place skewers in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette over skewers, turning to coat. Cover and chill 4 hours. Transfer skewers to a serving platter; discard any remaining vinaigrette.

*1 (12-oz.) bottle light Champagne vinaigrette may be substituted. For testing purposes only, we used Girard’s Light Champagne Dressing.



St. Louis Toasted Ravioli


  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 (25 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce


  1. Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Place breadcrumbs and if desired, salt in a shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat marinara sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  3. In a large heavy pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with hot marinara sauce.



Amazing Crab Shells


  • 36 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages Neufchatel cheese
  • 1 pound imitation crabmeat
  • 6 ounces cooked tiny shrimp
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and add pasta shells; boil until al dente. Drain well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, shrimp, onion, celery, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice; mix well.
  3. Stuff cream cheese mixture into the jumbo pasta shells. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.


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