I am always on the hunt for easy but impressive appetizers and side dishes. A friend mentioned these crispy parmesan cups and I knew I had to make them. She filled hers with a caprese salad but since I already had caprese skewers on the shower menu, I decide to fill the edible cups with a simple pesto tortellini pasta salad.
These were one of my favorites from the day. The parmesan cups may look intimidating to make but they were much easier than expected! The key is the cooking time and removing them from the stovetop just before they crisp up so you can mold them into a muffin tin. I've included a few pictures from the cooking process to help you get a better idea.
Crispy Parmesan Cups with Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
Yields: 8 servings (2 cups per person)
Source: Parmesan Crisps adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Crispy Parmesan Cups
2 cups (packed) shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad
10 ounces fresh cheese tortellini, prepared as directed on package
1/2 cup pesto
1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
Arugula, for garnish
In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese and flour.
Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Be sure the pan is fully heated before adding the cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the parmesan mixture into a 4-inch circle in the middle of the skillet. Cook until the circle starts to hold together as you lift it off of the pan and the bottom is starting to brown, about 1 minute.
Using an offset spatula, lift the circle of cheese from the pan and flip to the other side. Cook for an additional 15 seconds. Gently press the circle into a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining cheese, to make a total of 16 cheese cups. Let the cheese cups cool completely in the muffin tin. When ready to use, carefully lift them out of the tin.
Prepare tortellini as directed. In a medium bowl, combine cooked tortellini, pesto and roasted red peppers. Keep pasta salad in refrigerator until chilled.
When ready to serve, place the cheese cups on a serving platter and gently fill with a few pieces of arugula and top with the pasta salad. Serve immediately.