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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cheese-filled Tortellini and Garlic Bread

Last night was a Friday in Lent (so no meat) and the night before I headed out to the grocery store for some awesome stocking up. I was making the most out of a trip to the big city Costco so I was low on just about everything. I pulled a package of pre-made tortellini from the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge. This is a super fast dinner and this is how I made it.


For Tortellini
1 package refrigerated tortellini
Can of tomato sauce (I used a garlic and onion flavored one)
Chopped seasoning veggies, like garlic, onion and celery
1 tsp of dried Italian Seasoning

For Super-Fast Garlic Bread
Sliced crusty bread (Mine was homemade*)
Very soft butter
Garlic powder
Sprinkle of Italian herbs

Step One: put the pasta water on to boil, make sure to salt it.

Step Two: Heat skillet, add teaspoon of olive oil and chopped seasoning veggies, possibly adding chopped sun dried tomatoes if you like. When veggies are soft and fragrant add sauce and herbs and heat through.

Step Three: When water boils, cook tortellini according to package directions.

Step Four; While tortellini is cooking mix butter with garlic powder and herbs and perhaps a sprinkle of salt. Spread sliced bread with butter mixture and place on cookie sheet.

Step Five: Put bread under broiler on high, cook until brown and fragrant.

Step Six: Drain pasta and serve immediately. Top with red sauce and if you like a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan. Pull bread from oven and place a slice on each plate.

I know this is a very basic dinner idea but the reason I am using it is because EVERYONE cooks this way once in awhile and busy parents cook this way a lot. Some of my friends have expressed to me their discomfort with even basic recipes and the fact that too many "FAST EASY" dishes depend on a level of knowledge that they do not yet have. So here it is a fast and fool-proof dinner that hopefully spells out step by step a way to get dinner on the table.

*Homemade bread, I have said it before and I will say it again, the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day changed my life. I can now have fresh bread and pizza dough basically on demand. Buy it now!


  1. Just got this comment on my Facebook page about tonight's post.

    "Sorry- still too complicated. How Much salt? How many chopped veggies? How small do I chop them? I'm rubbish at cooking. #cookingFAIL"

    I replied, "Okay, this is good feedback for me. I can go back and answer all of those questions. The salt on the bread is optional, a sprinkle, to personal taste. Salt in the water for pasta is about a teaspoon usually. For an entire can of tomato sauce I might chop an entire onion (baseball sized), 1-2 cloves of garlic depending on size, 1 stalk of celery, tops and bottoms snapped off and strung and chopped. A large size for diced veggies would be squares about 3/4 of an inch, a small dice would be 1/4 inch. But don't get hung up on that, just make them roughly the same size. They will cook more evenly that way. Really small veggies are easier on kids who are veggie phobic. I even grate carrots into tomato sauce sometimes because they cook down to almost nothing. Rarely (if ever) have I ever seen TOO many veggies in a sauce."

  2. By the way, did you know you can LIKE us on Facebook at Suzanne -- Dinner 365? Thanks!