I try and be descriptive of my recipes in their titles so people have a better idea of how delicious they are just by reading the name. But I was at a loss with this one. After stuffing our faces, Patrick and I took a walk while we tried to think of a name for this pasta that would do it justice.
How do you encompass cheese stuffed pillows of tortellini complimented by the texture of crisp-tender carrots, green peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, blanketed in a hearty ragu sauce mixed with mozzarella cheese and then topped with more mozzarella cheese and then broiled until bubbly and golden — in a name?
- Ragu Sauce
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 26 oz. jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 has just a little heat)
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- Salt and pepper
1 26 oz. package of fresh cheese tortellini – UNCOOKED***
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add onions and carrots and cook until meat is cooked through. Transfer meat/carrot mixture to very large pot. To this large pot, stir in the rest of sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
- If all of the oil is gone from the skillet you cooked your meat in, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil, otherwise, use remaining leftover oil. Heat oil over medium high heat then add bell pepper and zucchini; season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Transfer to sauce. Add mushrooms and garlic to the now empty skillet (adding more oil if necessary) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned. Transfer to sauce.
- After 10 minutes, or when sauce has reduced to desired consistency, discard bay leaf and add uncooked tortellini, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then remove foil and broil cheese until golden brown.