while the babies sleep, i cook

Tortellini with Basil-Tomato Sauce

Tortellini with Basil-Tomato Sauce

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Hope you all have had such a lovely weekend. We had some friends from NC in town and it really was so sweet to reconnect. Charleston is home now, and we love it, but golly we miss so many people in NC!

Friday night I saved a super easy super of tortellini, salad, and bread. I want to share the breakdown of this meal to remind anyone that YOU CAN DO THIS! You can cook a meal for 6-8 people that doesn’t totally stress you out, break the budget, or require days of prep. YOU CAN cook a meal that is semi-homemade, fast, and comforting. YOU CAN cook a meal with little people underfoot. YOU CAN DO THIS!
Here’s a quick breakdown:
  • THE SALAD: The salad was a bag of already washed wild arugula that I dumped in a pretty bowl and added a drizzle of EVOO, balsamic glaze, and some fresh grated parm.
  • THE BREAD: I bought a huge loaf of bread from a local bakery here a few weeks back and immediately froze half of it for such an occasion as this. All i did was take it out the day before to defrost, then sliced it and added butter, garlic powder, and sea salt. I wrapped it in tinfoil and let it warm at 275 the entire time i made the rest of the meal. Come suppertime, it was piping hot and read to go!
  • THE PASTA: I cooked up 4 boxes of @traderjoes tortellini (2 spinach, 2 cheese) and topped them with a jar of the TJ’s creamy basil tomato sauce. I didn’t even heat the sauce! The pasta was hot enough to do that for me. Now, this is important: the 2 different types to tortellini have different cooking times, so what I did was heat the water and cook the cheese first since it took longer. Once it was done, I removed it with a strainer spoon (this is the one I have and I LOVE it!) and threw in the spinach (it only required 2-3 minutes!) You could simplify this step by just using one type of tortellini.
All the pasta went into a pretty bowl stirred with the entire jar of sauce, then topped with fresh grated parm and extra basil from our “garden” (aka 2 pots each containing one herb, because I’m determined to keep the garden small and keep it alive this year). *This particular sauce is super mild so I am really glad I added the extra basil and parm. Plus, it just makes it so fancy!
And there you have it. Dinner for 5 adults and 3 kids (all 3 devoured with tortellini, huge victory.)
Dessert was break and bake chocolate chunk cookies and there wasn’t a single one left on the plate.