I love to grocery shop. Perhaps it is because I love to cook, or maybe just because I love to eat? Either way, I tend to go to the grocery store multiple times a week. In an attempt to cut down our grocery budget, I decided to try to eat down things I’ve had in my freezer and pantry forever, instead of going to the store. First up – a bag of tortelleni that’s been in the freezer since January.
I love baked pastas of all sorts…so I knew baked tortelleni would be the perfect solution. I grabbed some ricotta that was nearing its expiration date, defrosted some ground sausage that I bought a few months ago, and picked some fresh basil from the garden. The results were fabulous – a cheesy, saucy mess of pasta spiked with spinach and topped with fresh basil. It ended up being a great way to clean out the fridge, and provided us with the ultimate comfort food!
Cheesy Tortelleni Bake
Yields: 4-6 servings
1 pound bag of frozen tortelleni
1/2 pound ground beef or sausage
3 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Basil, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Boil some water, then cook the tortelleni until soft. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a saute pan with some salt and pepper. Drain the grease, and set aside.
Combine the marinara sauce, beef, ricotta cheese, and spinach in a small bowl. Toss with the tortelleni, then pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Top with shredded mozzarella and basil.
Cover with foil, and bake for 20-30 minutes until the pasta is heated all the way through. Then remove the foil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese on top is melted.
*Freezer Friendly Tip* – Freeze in small portions before baking, and then transfer from the freezer to the oven to bake for approx. 60 minutes.
Source: A Cooking with Chrissy original.