Tortellini Bake

tortellinibakeThe real reason this dinner came about is because I’ve been dying to use my herbs I planted this year. Rosemary, Chives, Hot and Spicy Oregano, Sweet Basil and cilantro. They’re so pretty:) There is just something about walking out onto the deck and trimming exactly what I need from my own plants for dinner that makes me happy, I just thought you should know.

A recent that has made its way into our house is Ronzoni’s mini cheese tortellinis. We usually use these with our imitation of Gristanti’s (local to Nebraska) Tomato Basil with Tortellinis, but it doesn’t take the whole bag. A serving size is one cup, but that is way more than enough for one person, really a half a cup is perfect coming in at 70 calories per portion (15 carbs), so these little devils aren’t even bad for ya. Indulge….with proper portions of course.

As you know I’m not a big casserole person, so this is the perfect way for me to get close to making one… without totally making one. Not to mention, a quick fridge to dinner meal in about 30 minutes. With so much going on lately, we have been progressively eating later and later. It seems like we don’t even think about dinner anymore until about 8pm, and when we do, hunger hits us like a freight train. As much as I love cooking and baking, the last thing I want after working all day, a cardio workout, a weight lifting session, then working on wedding stuff is to make a formal dinner.

Although I still strive for homemade and fresh meals, they have been much simpler recently, which has been a mental adjustment on my part! I hate too many repeat meals within a couple of weeks time span, but shredded chicken tacos on corn tortillas in some flavor seem to hit our plates a lot anymore! My creative juices will reappear I’m sure after the wedding bells have rung, and we have nothing to plan or schedule 🙂

So with that, here is this meal, simple, hearty, but still good for you without tipping your calorie and carb limit for the day!

Tortellini Bake

2 cups of Ronzoni’s 3 cheese mini tortellinis (half the package)

1 can of Hunt’s Zesty and Spicy Pasta Sauce **

1/2 lb hamburger browned

1/2 onion diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 tomato chopped

1 tbsp crushed red pepper

1/4 cup white wine

s/p to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheese

Fresh Mozzarella: enough to add some dollops on the top ( if you don’t have this, just add another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese)

Fresh Oregano and Basil and Rosemary: I just pull some from my garden, use to your taste! I used one sprig of Rosemary, about a 3 inches sprig of oregano, and 3 large basil leave.                         *If you don’t have access to fresh, dried amounts: 1/4 tsp of Oregano with the onions, and 1/4 tsp of basil just to garnish

1. Over medium low heat, add olive oil, a few shakes of s/p, diced onions, tomatoes, and 1 clove of smashed garlic. Let this cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

2. Add wine, and let cook down, about 5 minutes.

3. Place the onion/wine mixture in a bowl to the side, in the same pan brown your hamburger, then drain of fat.

4. Once you’ve drained the fat, add the hamburger back to pan as well as the onion mixture. Add your crushed red pepper, herbs, half the can of sauce, and 4 tbsp of water, let this simmer on low until the tortellinis are finished.

5. In another pan, bring your water to a boil, cook the tortellinis for 9 minutes on a low boil. Preheat oven to 450.

6. Pour the remaining pasta sauce in the bottom of an oven safe dish. Then add your cooked and drained tortellinis. Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, then pour the hamburger sauce mixture over the top, then dollop your fresh mozzarella.

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