Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vegetable Tortellini Bake

This is one of those recipes you can modify to include whatever vegetables you have on hand, and it's going to be delicious. In my case...well, I used pretty much All The Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, carrots, peas, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. Since my boys love pasta so much, I thought I might as well sneak a ton of veggies into the sauce so they'd eat them along with the tortellini. Success! I'm telling you, that method rarely fails.

I adapted this pretty heavily from Better Homes and Gardens. Their method, to me, just seemed needlessly complicated. In addition to upping the amount of veggies, I also removed the chicken called for in the original recipe (this dish doesn't need it; it's hearty enough), used half whole-wheat tortellini, and added pesto to the sauce. The result was a hearty dish that somehow doesn't seem heavy, and one that's healthy and delicious too.

Vegetable Tortellini Bake

2 9-ounce packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 medium summer squash, sliced into half moons
6 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
1/4 cup pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook tortellini in boiling salted water; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add carrot, onion, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are fork-tender. Add garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the milk and chicken stock to the vegetables and heat until bubbling. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add pesto and stir until fully combined. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

4. Add the cherry tomatoes and the sauce mixture to the reserved tortellini and stir to combine.

5. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbling.


Amanda said...

I made this dish a while back but followed the recipe exactly. You're so right... it was WAY unnecessarily complicated! I didn't even notice it called for chicken until the night before I prepared it, and while I did include it, I definitely didn't think it added anything. In fact, I think it actually took away from the pasta and the veggies and the delicious creamy sauce. I'm really looking forward to trying your version of the recipe! The BHG one didn't thrill me.

Unknown said...

this looks awesome! Crazy that it was so unnecessarily complicated but looks like you made it into a great recipe, I am going to have to try it out sometime!

Victoria said...

I've got this sucker in the oven--so excited to taste! Just realized that I forgot the peas since there isn't mention of them in the instructions. At what point should I have added them in?