Disclaimer: Don’t show my blog to your culinary school professor. Although he or she would be truly impressed with what I can do with a bag of pre-made frozen tortellini, I don’t think we need to brag about it to anyone. There, I said it.
This week I have been the busiest bee in the hive:planning a wedding, starting a new job, getting ready for classes, and more. It’s been a whirlwind! Too drained to cook, I opted for the usual tortellini-for-supper routine on Wednesday night. Tortellini is the fast food of our house – boil it, add some butter, parm, and maybe some frozen veggies, and you’re good to go. But, this time I made a few subtle changes to transform our usual boiled pasta dinner to something totally different: Baked Cheese Tortellini with Pesto Garlic Bread.
Voila! A completely different dish. The pasta developed a more dense texture in the oven, and the sauce added an extra richness to this normally bland noodle dish. Add a slice of soft-in-the-middle pesto garlic bread on the side to soak up the leftover sauce, and I was pretty delighted at how this made-up recipe turned out.
You will love it, too. Here is how I made it:
1 box or bag of pre-made cheese tortellini (I love Bertolli or Whole Foods Brand)
1 jar of marinara sauce
About half a cup of heavy cream
A little parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Pesto Garlic Bread
1 French baguette
A little Parmesan
For the garlic bread, preheat to 350. Slice the baguette in half and layer the butter, garlic, pesto, and parmesan on one side. Place the other side on top, like a sandwich. Wrap in foil and bake for 20 minutes. I like to prepare this first so we can snack on the bread while everything else is cooking.
For the tortellini, boil the noodles for about 3-4 minutes. You don’t need to cook them all the way because they will finish cooking in the oven. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce. Pour a jar of marinara sauce into a large bowl. Fill the jar halfway with heavy cream and add that to the bowl. This is about half a cup of cream.
Add a few scoops of shredded parmesan cheese and stir.
When the noodles are done, pour them in a casserole dish and top with the sauce.
Drizzle a little mozzarella and parmesan on top of the dish, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
It cools pretty quickly, so go ahead and serve with a slice or two of garlic bread. This was just a simple way to jazz up my normal tortellini-for-supper routine. I have fun thinking of new ways to cook “ordinary” foods in my pantry. Now, you can go try it, love it, and thank me later.
Lots of love!