Pesto Tortellini Dinner


Pesto Tortellini Gratin

Dance classes are back in full swing so that means more “Dinners-to-Go.”  Above is a picture of one of the divided dishes we use.  There is no salad or vegetable in the other side yet like I normally serve.  I love these dishes because they can be recycled after a few dozen uses and they start to become worn.  It makes it much easier to feed the kids when we are running from one place to another.

I found tonight’s dinner for Pesto Tortellini Gratin from Pass the Sushi.com on Pinterest.   Of course I cannot make anything without changing it up a bit.   I had no fontina, pancetta or pesto tortellini.  But I still gave it a try.

Verdict:

We LOVED it!

I replaced the pancetta with bacon, added a few tablespoons of Pesto to my cheese tortellini and used Monterey  Jack instead of fontina.    I also made the cream sauce a bit easier to make by using cream cheese and fat-free half and half.

We will definitely be having this for dinner again.

I served this with a green salad in our divided dishes for a “Dinner-to-Go.”

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 (4oz.) block of cream cheese, cut up into 1″ chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 TBSP jarred pesto
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag of cheese tortellini
  • shredded parmesan, topping for serving

Directions:

  1. Cook the bacon over medium low heat.  Allow it to become well crisped before removing it from pan.  Place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels.  When the bacon has cooled, crumble it up into tiny pieces.
  2. To the bacon grease add the diced onion.  Allow it to slowly cook over medium low heat until slightly browned but not burnt.  This may take a while but it will taste so much better in the end if allowed to cook slowly.
  3. In a separate pan over medium heat place the cream cheese and milk.  Stir until the cream cheese has completely melted and the milk is warmed.  Add the Monterey Jack cheese and continue whisk and cook until the sauce thickens.  Do not boil.  If it starts to boil reduce heat!
  4. While sauce is cooking make the cheese tortellini according to package directions.  When cooked drain.
  5. Return tortellini to pan and add browned onions and bacon to the pan.  Pour the cheese sauce over the tortellini.  Add pesto and stir.
  6. Serve with shredded parmesan over the top for garnish.

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