Cheesy Tortellini covered in more cheese! This is every cheese lovers dream!
- 1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) prepared frozen cheese tortellini
- 12 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, roughly chopped or sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 large bunch swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 cups) OR 2 cups fresh chopped spinach OR 1/2 cup frozen spinach
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil or 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 to 6 ounces Mozzarella cheese slices, enough to cover the surface of the casserole
- Boil the tortellini: Heat a large pot with 3 quarts of water and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt on high heat. When the water starts to boil, add the tortellini. Once the water returns to a boil, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- You want the pasta cooked al dente because it will continue to cook when baked in the casserole. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.
- Sauté the mushrooms: While you are preparing the pasta, start on the sauce. Heat a large thick bottomed stick-free (hard anodized aluminum or cast iron are best) pan on medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms. “Dry” sauté them for 5 to 10 minutes with no added fat. As the mushrooms heat they will release water and cook in their own juices.
- Once the mushrooms are well coated with the water that they are releasing, stir in a tablespoon of butter.
- Add garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, crushed tomatoes, basil, chard, Parmesan: Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes to the mushrooms and cook a minute more.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and the dried or fresh basil. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped chard and cook for 5 more minutes until the chard begins to wilt.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt (more or less to taste).
- Combine tortellini and sauce in casserole dish, top with Mozzarella: Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Stir the cooked tortellini into the sauce and remove from heat. Spread the tortellini mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish in an even layer. Arrange a layer of sliced Mozzarella cheese over the top of the tortellinis.
- Bake: Cover with foil. (Either cover the casserole in a way that the foil is not touching the cheese or spread a little olive oil over the inside of the foil so that the casserole cheese does not stick to the foil while it cooks. You can also use stick-free foil.)
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 4 to 5 minutes more until top is lightly browned and bubbly.