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Cheesy Tortellini Sauce Recipe

Cheesy Tortellini Sauce on a bowl.

Cheesy Tortellini Sauce on a bowl.

Cheesy Tortellini Sauce

Loaded with the flavor and texture of cheese and the classic Italian seasonings that you love, this recipe for Cheesy Tortellini Sauce is rich and satisfying. You do not have to wait to go to your favorite Italian restaurant to get the flavors and textures that you love. You can make this sauce as the recipe is written for a sauce that features the flavor of Italian sausage. Alternately, you can make it without the sausage for a vegetarian entree that all will enjoy.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 Servings

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Spatula
  • Dutch Oven
  • Whisk
  • Colander

Ingredients
  

Seasoning Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp Onion powder
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ½ tsp Dried basil
  • ½ tsp Dried oregano
  • ½ tsp Dried parsley

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 lb Italian sausage (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Minced garlic
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups Half and half or milk
  • ½ cup Shredded Asiago cheese
  • ½ cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 20 Oz Frozen tortellini

Instructions
 

  • Measure all of your seasonings, the onion powder, the oregano, the pepper, the basil, and the parsley into a small bowl.
    Mixture of seasoning on a red bowl.
  • In a large skillet, brown the Italian seasoning, if you are using it, and chop it into small bits with a spatula. When the meat is cooked, drain the fat from the meat and then set the meat aside in a bowl.
  • As you cook the Italian sausage, bring a Dutch oven of water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil over medium high heat.
  • Melt the butter in the skillet in which you cooked the meat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it in the butter. Let the butter cook until it is a golden brown color. Add the olive oil.
    Melted butter with garlic and olive oil.
  • Stir the flour into the hot oil and use your spatula to stir it all up into a paste. Cook these together for about two minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth and the half and half, using a whisk to stir the ingredients together. Stir in the seasonings. Continue whisking to avoid lumps and scorching. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat, whisking frequently. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes.
  • By now, the Dutch oven of water should be boiling. Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook it according to the time specified on the package. Drain the tortellini in a colander.
  • Turn the sauce to low heat and add the Asiago cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir the sauce well to incorporate the cheeses and let them melt. Taste the sauce and add pepper and salt if you think it needs it.
    Melted butter and cheese cooked in a pan.
  • Add the meat, if you are using meat, and the drained tortellini and toss with a wooden spoon to coat the pasta in the sauce.
  • Serve the pasta hot. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, you will need to add a couple of tablespoons of milk to the mixture before you microwave your serving for about 45 seconds.

Notes

Our recipe for Cheesy Tortellini Sauce features two different kinds of cheese. Asiago cheese gives this recipe a bold tanginess. The Parmesan has a more subtle flavor, and when you put both of them in the same sauce, they are the perfect combination.
If you were to dig into this pasta recipe, you would probably figure that it took a long time to create. However, you would be 100 percent wrong with that impression. This sauce is very quick to put together. The key when making sauces with cheese and milk is to slowly add heat. If you get in a hurry and try to turn up the temperature on the stovetop, you will have a disaster on your hands, since milk and milk products scorch very easily. If you take your time and stay focused on the pasta sauce, (don’t step away for more than a minute!) this rich, silky, creamy sauce will only take about 15 minutes to put together.
This pasta sauce will work well with any kind of pasta. Also, although we added cooked Italian sausage to our sauce, you can vary it according to your preferences. Chopped, cooked bacon would be a great addition, and we think it would be tasty with shredded, cooked chicken. For a more vegetable-based meal, you can add some well drained, cooked spinach to the sauce. Just make sure that you press out as much water as you can with paper towels before you add the spinach.

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