I got an awesome new contributor for you guys today!!! Jen from Carlsbad Cravings! Her recipes and photos are amazing!!! You can follow her and all her yummies here —->
I am excited to be back with you from Carlsbad Cravings!
Fall is just around the corner and with that comes cozy, comforting foods that give your whole body a warm hug as they glide down your throat.
This Cheesy Ragu Veggie Al Forno will give your whole body and soul such a hug.
Even my husband, Patrick, who is quite the pasta critic (having lived in Italy for two years while serving a LDS mission) couldn’t deny the pasta love. He gave this pasta “al forno” 5 out of 5 stars. In other words, you and your family of food critics will love this pasta! After Patrick and I wiped off our cheesy, ragu smeared faces and I shelved the little leftovers, we took a walk as we tried to think of a name for this pasta that would do it justice.
I don’t know if there is one.
How do you encompass cheese stuffed pillows of tortellini complimented by the texture of crisp-tender carrots, green peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, blanketed in a hearty ragu sauce mixed with mozzarella cheese and then topped with more golden bubbly mozzarella cheese — in a name?
Cheesy Tortellini Ragu Vegetable Al Forno is all we could come up. (“Al Forno” meaning “baked” in Italian) Does it do this pasta justice?
No. There are simply no words for this 5 star pasta. But who needs words when your mouth is full of this:
So go ahead, wrap yourself in a this Cheesy Tortellini Ragu Vegetable Al Forno. Your tastebuds will thank you.
- Ragu Sauce
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 14.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 26 oz. jar of your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 has just a little heat
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 26 oz. package of fresh cheese tortellini – UNCOOKED***
- 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add meat and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add onions and carrots and cook until meat is cooked through. Transfer meat/carrot mixture to very large pot. To this large pot, stir in the rest of sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
- If all of the oil is gone from the skillet you cooked your meat in, then add 1 tablespoon olive oil, otherwise, use remaining leftover oil. Heat oil over medium high heat then add bell pepper and zucchini; season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Transfer to sauce. Add mushrooms and garlic to the now empty skillet (adding more oil if necessary) and saute for 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned. Transfer to sauce.
- After 10 minutes, or when sauce has reduced to desired consistency, discard bay leaf and add uncooked tortellini, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Stir until well combined. Pour into 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then remove foil and broil cheese until golden brown.
***Use your favorite quality tortellini because that's what makes this dish! I used Seven Cheese Olivieri Tortellini from the refrigerated section at Costco. I have used other brands and I could taste the difference.
Carlsbad Cravings Original
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