You know what’s good? Cheese. You know what’s also good? Dinner that requires 4 ingredients (5 if you want some garnish). Tortellini’s are a busy girl’s (or guy’s!) best friend, and this recipe let’s you be just that, while still feeling like you put together a totally company-friendly dinner. Seriously, you don’t don’t even need a full size oven to make this (I’m looking at you, NYC friends).
I had leftover cheese from making asparagus pizza last week, and decided that it was just destined to top some pasta. The great thing about this is you can pull a box of tortellini directly from your freezer (I usually keep some stashed there for nights when I’m dinner-desperate), pour them into a dish with a jar of tomato sauce, top with cheese, and you’re on your way.
The pasta cooks right in the sauce, and while it’s in the oven you can prepare a salad to go along side, steam some broccoli, or really do it up right and toast up homemade garlic bread. I made this with just one box of tortellini, because I didn’t particularly want to be eating it for weeks on end, but if you have more mouths to feed, consider doubling this. Instead of a 1-layer baked tortellini, you can layer it so you create your very own lasagna. Want to get truly fancy? Brown some ground turkey or beef and layer it in – then you’ve really made lasagna. I won’t tell that you took a few shortcuts on the way there.
Because this is such a simple dish, I highly recommend garnishing with fresh basil, and choosing a sauce that you know has a lot of flavor. I used a roasted vegetable marinara from Whole Foods. If you like spice, jarred arrabbiata sauce would be a good way to kick this up. Also feel free to mix up the tortellini. I had plain cheese on hand, but really anything would be great – I think I’ll try spinach and cheese or artichoke next time.
Try making this the next time you’re craving comfort food, but don’t have patience for anything beyond putting a dish in the oven (helloo Monday).
Easy Cheesy Baked Tortellini
Total Time: 40 minutes; Baking Time: 35 minutes
Adapted from: 4 Ingredient Ravioli Lasagna
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce
1 (10 oz) package frozen tortellini, unthawed
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped basil (a tablespoon or two) for topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a (~9×13) casserole dish, spoon just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Add the tortellini, and spread out in an even layer. Cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella, then Parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil (spray your foil with nonstick spray first if the cheese is at the top of your dish), and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until sauce is bubbling, and cheese is melted.
Sprinkle with chopped basil, and allow to cool for ~5 minutes before plating. Serve warm.