Cheese tortellini with meat sauce
Spaghetti with meat sauce
Baked Ziti with meat sauce…
Whatever the variation, I refer to it as a “house meal” that we oftentime have during the week when I’m too busy to be Mrs. Fancy Pants in the kitchen.
It’s easily customized given what I have in the pantry that day, and my family loves it with a side salad and bread.
Bonus: My daughter’s a “noodles in red sauce eating machine,” which makes me a hero at dinnertime! 😎
I always keep the following staples in my kitchen:
- Different jars of marinara sauce, frozen, homemade, etc.
- Various Pastas, frozen or boxed
- 1 lb. bags of frozen ground beef or sweet Italian sausage
- Refrigerated jar of minced garlic – A MUST!
- Bagged shredded cheese
- Bagged salad
- BREAD – duh… ALL the breads 🙂
To begin I saute diced onion in butter or olive oil. Once it starts turning, I add a teaspoon of garlic and about two minutes after that I add the ground beef. I season it with salt and pepper and cook it until the beef is browned and then I drain the fat. Then I add about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. 🙂
Any Italian seasoning blend will work.
Next I pour in the whole jar of marinara sauce.
Then I take the leftover jar and fill it with 1/3 cup of half-n-half or heavy cream. Sometimes I only have whole milk so I use that too.
I shake the jar up to catch all the left behind red sauce, and then I pour it into the pan.
I do this because it takes the edge off the acidity and adds more richness to the sauce.
Next I boil the pasta; if I was using boxed pasta I would only cook until it’s “al dente.”
Frozen cheese tortellini is AMAZING… it’s one of my go-to’s. Once the water is boiling, you drop it in the pot and boil it for about 3 minutes. When it floats to the top you know it’s done. 🙂
Using a slotted spoon I scoop the tortellini out of the boiling water and put it directly into the sauce.
Then I gently mix it up!
At the end I sprinkle about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on top (typically mozzarella) and I use shaved Parmesan and parsley as garnish (but not necessary).
There it is! A variation of the house meal I prepare two or three times a month.
I hope you enjoy its comfort and simplicity as much as we do! ❤
“In a world filled with aspirational recipes and preciously staged photos, one cook finds that true comfort comes from replaying the same simple dinner…over and over and over again.”
– Tamar Adler
Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup (1/2 a diced) Onion
- 1 teaspoon minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 24 ounce jar Marinara Sauce
- 1/3 cup Half-n-Half or Heavy Cream
- 16 ounce bag Frozen Cheese Tortellini
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella
- Shaved Parmesan
- Fresh Parsley
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute diced onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for two minutes longer. Then add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Once the beef is browned, drain the fat. Next add the Italian seasoning and whole jar of marinara sauce and stir. Now pour 1/3 cup of heavy cream into the sauce jar, replace the lid, and shake it up. Now stir the cream mixture into the sauce. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Cook frozen tortellini to package instructions and once done transfer it to the pan using a slotted spoon. Mix everything together. At last, top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Garnish the pan with shaved Parmesan and parsley. Serve it with a side salad and garlic bread. Enjoy 🙂