This delicious pasta dish was once again the result of a fridge clean out the other day. The fridge yielded some leftover simple tomato basil sauce from a pizza dinner a couple of nights earlier, half of a large package of cheese stuffed tortellini that the kids had opened when making their own lunch on the weekend and some mozzarella, asiago and Parmesan cheeses. The end of a loaf of crusty Italian bread was also on the counter top for possible use as well as a bunch of basil that needed to be used within a day or so. Some leftover grilled chicken breast was also available to add to the mix but this would be a perfectly good meal even without the chicken.
In about 20 minutes I had all of these components thrown together into a casserole dish in about 20 minutes and in the oven for about 35 minutes, so in under an hour we had this delicious pasta dinner on the table.
It was so good that all of us had small second portions and although it was kind of an “everything but the kitchen sink sort of meal, it turned out so fantastically that it’s sure to make regular repeat appearances on our dinner table.
- 4 cupscrushed canned tomatoes
- 2 tbspolive oil
- 4 clovesgarlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tspblack pepper
- pinchbrown sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup finely grated asiago cheese (or Parmesan)
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup bread or cracker crumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lb packagecheese tortellini
- 3-4cooked chicken breasts, diced
- In a medium saucepan over medium flame, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil and add the minced garlic. Saute for a minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce reduces and begins to thicken.
- Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil and asiago cheese.
- Cook the tortellini in salted water and boil for 10 minutes or according to the package directions.Drain.
- Stir the drained tortellini and diced chicken into the sauce.
- Sprinkle on the grated mozzarella.
- Pour the pasta and sauce into a greased casserole dish.
- Toss together the bread or cracker crumbs, olive oil (or melted butter), grated Parmesan and 2 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the mozzarella.
- Bake in a preheateded 375 degree F oven for about 35 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.