Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Tale of Two Tortellini

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Tortellini is something that I've just recently discovered.  Don't get me wrong, I haven't been living under a rock, I've known that tortellini exist, I just haven't done much with them.  I love pasta and filled pastas are one of my favorite things.  I love how much more variety grocery stores have these days, I went to pick out tortellini and found myself faced with at least 4 or 5 varieties, all of which would have been delicious in one of these recipes.

In the past few weeks I've tried two tortellini recipes and really love both of them.  They're both one pot meals, which is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.  One is vegetarian and one includes turkey sausage.  I love pasta dishes like this, I feel like you can really customize them to suit your own tastes once you have a handle on the basics of building flavors and sauces.

Give one of these a try and share what your favorite pasta preparation is!

One-Pot Tortellini With Sausage
1 tbsp. olive oil
14 oz of turkey kielbasa (sliced into 1" rounds)
1/2 white onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
20 oz. package of refrigerated tortellini (I used a simple ricotta filled one)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt & Pepper
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. whipped cream cheese spread
8 oz shredded jack cheese (or mozzarella would work too)

Heat olive oil in a large dutch-oven style pot over medium heat.  Add in the onion and saute until soft.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then add in the garlic.  Toss in the turkey sausage and cook until browned.

Add chicken broth, tortellini and crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.  The pasta should be al dente, so don't overcook it.

Remove from heat and add in the cream cheese and jack cheese, reserving a handful of shredded cheese for topping.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or so, then serve topped with additional cheese.

Printable Recipe

Creamy Spinach Tortellini

16 oz package refrigerated tortellini (I used spinach-flavored this time)
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 1/2 cups rough-chopped fresh baby spinach
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 white onion (diced)
1 heaping tbsp. of AP flour
1 cup half & half
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare tortellini according to package directions.  While they cook, heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven.  Add in the onions and garlic, sauteing quickly until just soft.  Add in the tomatoes, spinach, basil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Cook and stir over medium heat until it begins to bubble.  In a separate bowl, quickly whisk together the flour and half and half until smooth.  Add the flour mixture into the tomato mixture along with the Parmesan.  Stir to combine and heat through until the sauce thickens.

Add the cooked and drained tortellini to the pot with the sauce, toss well to coat the pasta and serve hot.

Printable Recipe

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