Easy Cheesy Tortellini Bake with 20-Minute Tomato Sauce

Today for meatless Monday we’re keeping it short and sweet. This Baked Tortellini is the ultimate comfort food, and features a quick 20-minute tomato sauce that’s so easy a 10 year old could make it. I mean that literally – it’s the same tomato sauce I learned to make in 6th grade home economics class that got me excited about cooking. It’s been almost that long since I’ve eaten tortellini, and I forgot how much I love it until I was running into the store today for a carton of oat milk. I caught a glimpse of cheese tortellini in the freezer aisle and went for it.

6th Grade Level Tomato Sauce

Combine a 28 oz. can of crushed Italian tomatoes, 6 oz. tomato paste, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. sugar in a sauce pan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 4 cups.

Slightly More Grownup Red Sauce

Saute 2 Tbsp. minced garlic in olive oil and add to the tomato sauce with oregano, basil, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

Now it doesn’t get any easier than this: Get the sauce cooking in a shallow oven-proof pan, then bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini. Two 12 oz. bags is enough for 4 to 6 servings. Once the tortellini is cooked (should take only 2 minutes), drain it and dump it right into the finished tomato sauce. Mix some cheese into the pasta, and top it with more cheese, then bread crumbs, then broil the whole lot for about 8 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Mozzarella, parmesan and Italian blends are perfect of course, but I had some grated cheddar and jack cheeses that worked just as well. The whole process should have you indulging in this guilty pleasure in under 30 minutes.

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