Creamy Baked Tortelloni and the perfect wine

Creamy Baked Tortelloni with Salad & Marinated Shallots: There is nothing better than a  pillowy tortelloni cooked in the tasteful sauce. Which is more of a pink sauce similar to vodka sauce, minus the vodka. This cooking technique, in addition to the cream cheese, adds a velvety texture to the pasta dish. Once the casserole is assembled and topped with fresh mozzarella. Place it in the oven and bake then broil to golden tender perfection. The tender baby spinach makes for a nice side salad. 

Creamy Baked Tortelloni

Before we start the cooking process we have to do a little prep work. First preheat oven to 450°F with racks in the top and center positions.

Lightly oil a medium baking dish I like to use an iron skillet myself. Halve shallot, then peel and thinly slice lengthwise. Put ⅛ cup sliced shallots for salad on the side until the end. Then finely chop ¼ cup shallots and grate mozzarella on large holes of box grater.

Creamy Baked Tortelloni

Now that we are finished with our prep lets start making the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add chopped shallots and cook, until golden, should take about 1–2 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cream cheese; break up using the back of a spoon, and cook until cream cheese has softened, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute.

Whisk in 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high heat cook for about 1 minute. Season sauce with ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds pepper. Than turn off the stove.

Creamy Baked Tortelloni

Key to this meal

Baking the tortelloni is key to making this meal special. Place tortelloni and peas in prepared baking dish, again I use an iron skillet, and top with sauce. Shake to distribute sauce and top with mozzarella. Cover baking dish with foil, then bake on the center oven rack until tortelloni begins to soften. It should take 10 minutes watch closely. Uncover dish bake sauce until it is thickened.

Every good pasta dish needs a fresh side salad. So lets make some homemade dressing. In a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon vinegar with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper makes sure to taste. Add sliced shallot to dressing and allow to marinate while tortelloni bakes. And finally tear lettuce into little bite-size pieces.

Creamy Baked Tortelloni

To finish off this dish lets broil the tortelloni. Remove tortelloni from oven and preheat broiler. Broil on top oven rack until cheese is golden-brown and bubbly, about 30 seconds (watch closely every broiler is different). Add lettuce to dressing and toss to coat. Serve baked tortelloni with salad alongside. Enjoy!

History of Tortellini

We can thank Wikipedia for this little history lesson. Both Bologna and Modena, cities in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, claim to be its birthplace.[3] OxfordDictionaries.com traces the etymology of tortellini to the diminutive form of tortello, itself a diminutive of torta. Both reference cake.[4] The recipe for a dish called torteletti appears in 1570 from Bartolomeo ScappiVincenzo Tanara‘s writings in the mid-17th century may be responsible for the pasta’s renaming to tortellini.

In the 1800s, legends sprang up to explain the recipe’s origins, offering a compromise. Castelfranco Emilia, located between Bologna and Modena,[3] is featured in one legend, in which Venus stays at an inn. Overcome by her beauty, the innkeeper spies on her through a keyhole, through which he can only see her navel. He is inspired to create a pasta in this shape. In honor of this legend, an annual festival is held in Castelfranco Emilia.[5] Another legend posits that the shape comes from Modena’s architecture, which resembles a turtle.”

Creamy Baked Tortelloni

Wines to go with red or tomato-based pasta sauces

There are two types of tomato based pasta sauces one that includes fresh tomato with basil, the other is a Cooked tomato sauces such as napoletana or marinara

For a fresh tomato basil based sauces : crisp dry whites such as Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio are the best pairing.

Alois Lageder “Porer” Pinot Grigio

 

A 2013 Alois Lageder “Porer” Pinot Grigio,  from Alto Adige, Italy; has a hint of oak. Is rich and creamy and full-bodied, with intense floral aromas and powerful flavors of pears and minerals. It can be aged three or four years and will cost you around $25. 

Cooked tomato sauces such as napoletana or marinara is paired with a nice  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a light Sicilian red. 

Fondo Antico I Versi Bianco 2010

 

If I was having a dinner party I would buy a nice Fondo Antico I Versi Bianco 2010. This lush, fruity blend of Grecanico, Inzolia and Grillo has zesty citrus aromas that mingle with salty seabreeze ones. It can be described as a creamy and rich, and weighty and sumptuous as a Chardonnay. It should cost you only $10. 

A Meat based sauce like bolognese, spaghetti with meatballs, or sausage-based sauces, is a logical partner for Sicilian and Puglian reds, Sangiovese, Rosso di Montalcino and inexpensive Barberas. But what I find best pairs is a nice Zinfandel.

 

The Bianchi 2013 Zinfandel – $28 zin is a robust, ruby-red wine, with spicy layers of cherry, raspberry and cinnamon flavors. It ends with a wonderful velvety vanilla clove finish. It will pair well with pork, turkey or lamb, especially with a sweet glaze.

Creamy Baked Tortelloni
Recipes header

Creamy Baked Tortelloni with Salad & Marinated Shallots

There is nothing better than a pillowy tortelloni cooked in the tasteful sauce, which is more of a pink sauce similar to vodka sauce, minus the vodka.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2
Calories 970 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 oz shallot
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • oz tomato paste
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 pkg cheese tortelloni
  • oz peas
  • 1 head Boston lettuce
  • kosher salt & ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

Instructions
 

  • Prep ingredients: Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in the top and center positions. Lightly oil a medium baking dish. Halve shallot, then peel and thinly slice lengthwise. Reserve ⅛ cup sliced shallots for salad, then finely chop ¼ cup shallots. Grate mozzarella on large holes of box grater.
  • Start sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add chopped shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, 1–2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cream cheese; break up using the back of a spoon, and cook until cream cheese has softened, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute.
  • Finish sauce: Whisk in 1¼ cups water and bring to a boil over high and cook, about 1 minute. Season sauce with ¾ teaspoon salt and a few grinds pepper. Remove from heat.
  • Bake tortelloni: Place tortelloni and peas in prepared baking dish and top with sauce. Shake to distribute sauce and top with mozzarella. Cover baking dish with foil, then bake on the center oven rack until tortelloni begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and continue to bake until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes.
  • Make dressing: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon vinegar with 2 tablespoons oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add sliced shallot to dressing and allow to marinate while tortelloni bakes. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces.
  • Broil tortelloni & serve: Remove tortelloni from oven and preheat broiler. Broil on top oven rack until cheese is golden-brown and bubbly, about 30 seconds (watch closely as broilers vary). Add lettuce to dressing and toss to coat. Serve baked tortelloni with salad alongside. Enjoy!

Notes

Wheat, Milk and Egg. May contain traces of other allergens. Packaged in a facility that packages gluten containing products.
Keyword pasta

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