You know when you just want a BIG helping of cheesy pasta, but you don’t want to put in a bunch of work? Enter this dish.
Back when Josh and I lived in Seattle many years ago, this was a staple meal in our house. We’d get a package of tortellini from Trader Joe’s, boil it up, add some sauce, top with cheese and broil. It was so easy and yummy. We’d usually make a quick Caesar salad to go with it, you know, to make sure we had some greens with our pasta and cheese.
Making this STILL makes me think of those long summer evenings where the light seems to stretch on forever before the sun finally lowered into a vibrant sunset over Puget Sound. We’d open a bottle of wine, eat this meal, and glance out the windows to see ferries darting across the water while the sky darkened. Ah, memories. Our view from our Austin house isn’t nearly as striking. Sigh. But back to present day…
I still love this dish and how easy it is to make. It’s even easier (and quicker, if you don’t have a lot of time) if you don’t make the sauce from scratch, but I love making homemade tomato sauce, so this recipe includes the sauce-making part. Feel free to skip it for a quicker meal!
One thing I do not skimp on is the cheese. I just love those cheesy bites. And I love it when the cheese gets all bubbly and delicious. Mmmmmm.
Cheesy Tortellini Bake
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 yellow or white onion
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 10 oz tortellini
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Take the can of tomatoes and blend in a blender.
- Add the tomatoes to a large pot and place on the stove.
- Take the onion, cut in half and peel. Add both halves to the pot. Add the butter to the pot.
- Heat the mixture to boiling, stir the butter to incorporate, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Stir in the oregano and continue cooking over medium-low heat for 1 hour, uncovered. Remove the onion. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the tortellini according to the package directions.
- To layer the dish, first add sauce to cover the bottom of an 8 1/2 x 11 casserole dish. Add the tortellini on top, and spread to make sure it is in an even layer. Then add more of the sauce on top to coat the tortellini. Tear the mozzarella cheese and place over the top.
- Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh basil if desired.