Yeah, I don't know if you've noticed but I spent a lot of time in the kitchen today.
My dinner tonight was Cheesy Baked Tortellini, a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis ( <3 ). It was very good and surprisingly filling. The mascarpone makes the sauce soooooo creamy and it binds to the pasta so beautifully. I suppose you could substitute ricotta, but you'd be missing out. I've never cooked with mascarpone (except for making tiramisu) so that was fun and exciting. I would make this again.
My changes: I halved the recipe (obviously) so it took less time to cook (about 25 min). I also didn't use fresh herbs - when do I ever? - and omitted the thyme completely because I don't like it. Instead of smoked mozzarella, I used a combination of shredded mozzarella and sliced provolone.
Cheesy Baked Tortellini
2 cups marinara sauce
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 pound purchased cheese tortellini
2 ounces thinly sliced smoked mozzarella
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish.
Whisk the sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend. Cook the tortellini in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Add the tortellini to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the tortellini mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top the mixture with the smoked mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about 30 minutes.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Photo added 4/23/09: