Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tortellini with Red and White Sauce

Does that not look like the perfect bite?

A cute little tortellini resting comfortably on a savory Baby Bella mushroom sauce intertwined with ground beef swimming in a garlicy tomato sauce.

That folks, is a whole meal right there, minus the vegetables. You're going to have to come up with those on your own, because we're just providing the main entree' today. And this whole meal can be made in no time at all.

In fact, if you are coordinated enough to operate three stove burners at once - and I think you are - then this meal can be made in the time it takes to boil water and cook tortellini. Of course, I'm assuming you're like me and you keep a pound of cooked hamburger in the freezer for times such as these, because that saves lots of time - AND a burner. I, myself would use that fourth burner to steam some garden green vegetables to make this meal-on-a-spoon truly complete.

If your family or guests are hanging around your kitchen, asking when dinner's going to be served, then make this dish as originally designed. However, if you're thinking ahead to tomorrow or you're bringing it to a family gathering, just layer it up as suggested and do the reheat thing when you're ready for it - keeping the top covered. In it's final moments in the oven, remove the cover and switch to broil mode to get the bubbly cheese effect.

Tortellini with Red and White Sauce

Tomato Sauce

One Tablespoon Butter
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 Cup Chopped Onion
14 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
1/2 Pound Cooked Hamburger

Mushroom Parmesan Sauce

2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Sliced Fresh Baby Bella Mushrooms
1/4 Cup Chopped Green Onion
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Milk
2/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper

12 Ounces Tortellini, fresh or frozen

1-1/2 Cups Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese

To make tomato sauce: Melt butter and saute' garlic and onion until tender. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add hamburger. Cover and simmer ten minutes.

Cook tortellini according to package instructions.

To make mushroom sauce: Melt butter and saute' mushrooms and green onion until tender. (The original recipe did not specify what type of mushrooms to use, so I took the liberty and chose Baby Bellas, because their flavor is superior to the average white mushroom.) Sprinkle with flour and gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens to consistency of mushroom soup. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Add mushroom Parmesan sauce to cooked, drained tortellini.

To serve: Spread tomato/hamburger sauce over bottom of a large shallow casserole. Spoon tortellini mushroom mixture on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and additional Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately.

If making ahead of time, layer as directed and cover with foil. When ready to cook, place in 350 degree oven, covered. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until heated through. Remove cover and broil top as originally instructed.

A whole meal on a spoon!


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