Friday, November 7, 2008

Oven-Baked Tortellini Alfredo with Pepperoni and Green Peas

When the weather is cold, when you're sick, when you've had a bad day, or when you're just feeling blah... these all call for comfort. Warm, cozy, rich, creamy comfort.

When I purchased some frozen cheese tortellini recently, I had planned a very simple garlic-olive oil sauce. Then I saw this post by the clever Anne of Anne's Food--a cheesy-baked tortellini. I knew I had to make some.

It's very easy--make an oniony, garlicky roux, add milk and cheese, season with pepper, a few scrapes of nutmeg, salt if you need it, and mix it with just-cooked tortellini and bake. I added pepperoni and peas for extra flavor and texture.

Wow! It was just right for a solo meal at home, cozy on the couch with a blanket--with lots of leftovers!

Oven-Baked Tortellini Alfredo with Pepperoni and Green Peas
serves 4

1 pound frozen cheese tortellini, cooked according to package directions to al dente
extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (or more or less to taste)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
about 1 quart milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
few scrapes nutmeg
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound frozen peas
about 1-1/2 ounces thinly sliced or chopped pepperoni

Saute onion in olive oil until lightly browned and very soft; reduce heat to low and add garlic and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Mix in flour to form a paste and cook 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, also adding pepper, nutmeg and parmesan cheese as you go. (Be sure to taste for seasoning--you may need added salt.) You may also use less or more milk depending on the consistency you prefer. Mine came out pretty thick--just how I like it. Stir in peas and pepperoni and remove from heat.

Combine cooked tortellini and cream sauce in a buttered casserole dish. Bake in a preheated 350*F oven until bubbly and lightly browned (about 15-20 minutes). Allow to cool for 5 minutes before digging in--it's HOT!

This is a relatively quick-fix meal if you're very organized, and definitely pocketbook-friendly. I was able to put the dish together for about $5 US.


Tue said...

Yum! We aren't quite yet in the "wintery" weather phase here (or at least as wintery as it gets in southern Cal), but this looks delicious...

Amanda said...

It's actually been pretty warm here, as well--in the 60s (F) this week! Even so, I find that the house stays quite cool inside--brick tends to do that--and so putting the oven on for a bit in the evening is nice and doesn't make things too hot.

I think this is our last warm-weather hurrah; the forecast is for snow next week! (Standby for lots of complaining...)

Grace said...

yeah...this looks luscious, the epitome of comfort food. i love the addition of peas--they always give such a lovely little pop. :)

Amanda said...

Oh, you are so right, Grace. It's all about texture, isn't it? I still have some leftovers in the fridge... I'm thinking midnight snack!

Sam said...

Looks great I love stuffed pasta and with that sauce... Yum.

You've been tagged! come over to see what.

Sandy Smith said...

Oh, YUM! If only I had pepperoni, and tortellini, and peas, we'd be eating this! After grocery shopping, we're on! Thanks for the recipe!

Amanda said...

Sam--thanks for the tag! I'll be answering that shortly.

Hello, Sandy. I hope you enjoy the recipe! I ate the last of it today for lunch--still good after some days in the fridge, I must say. (Though most of the sauce was absorbed and needed a touch of milk while reheating.)

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