With a cheesy cream sauce and a touch of tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella and cooked to cheesy perfection, this baked creamy tortellini is pasta comfort food at its best. Cheese tortellini, butter, flour, heavy cream, milk, garlic, parmesan, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. What could be better?
Ordering at Restaurants
I try to order different dishes when I go to restaurants, as opposed to always ordering the same thing every time. Notice that I said I try, because I do not always succeed. Funny thing is, it seems that the places where I fail most frequently seem to be Italian restaurants. Probably because I love filled pastas and creamy sauces so much.
My typical Italian restaurant order tends to be some sort of tortellini or ravioli and a sauce with some sort of creamy element…like tortellini Gabrielle, served at BiBa’s: cheese tortellini tossed in Alfredo sauce, with a touch of marinara and melted mozzarella. This baked creamy tortellini is, with a creamy Parmesan béchamel, topped with marinara and baked with mozzarella, is my tribute to that.
What Do I Need to Make Baked Creamy Tortellini?
- Refrigerated or frozen tortellini (I used cheese but you can use whatever kind you like)
- Heavy cream, milk, or half-and-half (or a combination of the three)
- Parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
- Diced tomatoes
How to Make This Tortellini
- Melt the butter in a skillet
- Make a roux by whisking the flour into the butter
- Let the roux cook briefly
- Whisk the dairy into the roux
- Whisk the Parmesan cheese into the roux
- Combine the tortellini with the béchamel sauce
- Spread the tortellini into the baking pan
- Wipe out the skillet; heat the olive oil and cook the garlic in the olive oil
- Add the diced tomatoes to the olive oil/garlic mixture and cook until slightly reduced.
- Stir basil into the tomato mixture.
- Spread the tomato sauce on top of the tortellini.
- Top the tortellini with mozzarella and bake until the mozzarella is browned; cool briefly then serve.
This tortellini is a crowd-pleaser for sure. It’s one of those dishes that makes me look forward to leftovers. It’s easy and so delicious!
This recipe was originally posted in 2014 and was loosely based on a recipe originally posted on the Facebook page (Queen of the Little Red Kitchen) of a co-worker of mine, Alicyn Wilkey. Alicyn was an amazing teacher and friend who was loved by many. She sadly passed away in 2014. This recipe was originally my own feeble attempt to remember her. Her Facebook page is gone now, so I am no longer able to provide a link to her original recipe…but I hope that this recipe inspired by her will bring all of you some happiness!
20 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
45 minTotal Time:
- 2 9 ounce packages refrigerated tortellini-whatever variety you like (or 1 19-ounce bag frozen tortellini, which is what I used because I couldn't remember where to find refrigerated tortellini at my grocery store)
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half (I usually use a mixture of half heavy cream and half whole milk...and yes, I realize that this is essentially half and half, but I save that for my coffee)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1 14-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes (depending on whether you like a chunky or smooth texture-I used diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped or cut into a chiffonade)
- salt (to taste)
- 4 Ounces mozzarella cheese (shredded or thinly sliced)
- If using frozen ravioli, cook briefly according to package directions to defrost (or thaw them in the fridge beforehand). Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the béchamel: melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk/cream/half-and-half and cook until thickened. Whisk in the Parmesan then salt to taste. Set aside.
- Place the tortellini in a bowl and pour the béchamel over the top. Stir gently to combine.
- Wash the pan you used to make the béchamel and place back over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Sauté the garlic briefly (thirty seconds should be plenty). Add the tomatoes and cook until slightly reduced, 6-8 minutes. Salt to taste. Stir in basil.
- Combine the tortellini and the béchamel then spread into an 8-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch Pyrex pie pan. Evenly spread the tomato sauce over the top. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil until it reaches desired brownness. Let stand for ten minutes before serving.