Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baked Tortellini With Pesto Cheese Sauce

This is a guest post by Elana Birnbaum

What is it about Baked Tortellini that makes it a perfect comfort food? It just seems ideal for cold winter days and curling up with a good book. Maybe it’s the creamy texture or the relaxed vibe that makes this hearty meal such a popular treat. It isn’t difficult to make and the ingredients will likely already be in your pantry. You can prepare the dish in under fifteen minutes and do whatever you wish while you wait for it to bake. This delicious meal makes up to six servings and is a great family dinner or solo indulgence with days of leftovers. For this recipe you will need, 3 Tbsp. of either butter or margarine, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of chicken broth, 1/4 tsp. of salt, ¼ tsp. of pepper, 2 pkgs. (9 oz. each) of cheese-filled tortellini, cooked and drained, 3 Tbsp. of chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, 2 cups (8 oz.) of shredded whole milk Mozzarella Cheese, ½ cup (2 oz.) of shredded Parmesan Cheese and ¼ cup of prepared pesto sauce. There are many varieties of pesto but the traditional version will include garlic, basil, pine nuts, olive oil and two cheeses.

To prepare this mouth watering meal, begin by melting your butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add your flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Then, add your milk and broth and cook until the mixture becomes thickened, stirring constantly. Next, stir in your pesto, salt and pepper and heat through. Set this sauce mixture aside and layer half of the tortellini in 1-1/2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with half of your tomatoes. After this, pour half of your sauce over the tortellini and sprinkle with half of the Mozzarella Cheese. Top this with the remaining tortellini, tomatoes, sauce and Mozzarella Cheese. Bake your meal in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit over for around 25 minutes or until bubbly. Take your creamy, cheesy, delicious baked tortellini out of the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese – now your dish is complete!

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