I found this recipe via Betty Crocker’s website.
The link: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-cheesy-italian-tortellini/8e2cf3cb-aba0-467c-a28e-29859cc89bb7#?st=6&term=slowcooker%20cheesy%20italian%20tortellini&ps=9&pi=9&fv=AND
This was a really tasty pasta dish packed full of meat and mushrooms. I even used a little bit extra of everything just so I would have leftovers to share. I got lots of compliments on this dish, too. I would give it: 4.43 out of 5 spoons. (Like stars, but more suitable to cooking.)
How Many Calories Are We Looking At Per Serving?:
somewhere around 670 (about 280 from fat)
**This dish is a little higher in sodium.
Total Time It Took Me To Make This: 7 hours
(Really— it was probably a half an hour or less because it just sits in the slow cooker to cook itself during the day. This really was quite the effortless dish, which is always nice.)
How Many People Did It Serve?: 4-6
Typically, I think this dish serves about 4. However, I added almost double the pasta, along with a bit of extra sauce and meats… and it fed 4 with enough to maybe even serve 2 more as leftovers.
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb bulk Mild Italian sausage
1 container (about 16 oz) marinara sauce
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (about 9 oz.) cheese-filled tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (around 4 oz)
***Notes about the ingredients:
1) If you want to add a little bit of a kick to your dish, go for the Spicy Italian sausage instead of the Mild. You could even go for a Sweet Italian sausage if you wanted something even more different. I simply found that the Mild hit just the way I wanted it to.
2) If you want more sauciness in your dish or if you are going to add more than 9 oz. of pasta, don’t be afraid to add more marinara sauce. The amount given is really the basic amount.
3) The recipe from Betty Crocker called for fresh sliced mushrooms. Mine came out of a can, and they turned out fine. However, as always, I would recommend using fresh, organic products as much as possible. But sometimes we have to pick and choose our battles.
4) The recipe also called for the marinara sauce and the tortellini pasta both to be refrigerated. Neither of mine were… Again, they turned out more than okay.
5) Find diced tomatoes that have Italian herbs added to them if you can. If not, don’t hesitate to sprinkle your own over the dish when you add them to your slow cooker. The extra seasoning adds something essential to the dish. Just don’t take it overboard.
1) In a 10-inch skillet, cook the beef and sausage over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown. Drain.
2) Spray the inside of 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix beef mixture, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in cooker.
3) Cover. Cook on Low heat setting for 7 to 8 hours.
(Note: Mine was well-cooked within 6 to 7 hours. Just check on it based on how much time you have until you want to serve the dish.)
4) Stir in tortellini. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover. Cook on Low heat setting about 15 minutes longer, or until tortellini are tender.
5) Serve it up… maybe with a little sprinkled parmesan cheese on top, if you’re feeling extra cheesy!
This Dish Goes Well With: a fresh salad!
(I added some fruits, nuts, and raspberry vinaigrette to mine.)
HAPPY COOKING : ]