Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tortellini and Cauliflower Bake


This casserole was inspired by a recipe called Cauliflower Tortelloni Cheese on Yummly Recipes. I tried it using beef tortellini, making my own cheese sauce and a combination of grated cheeses. With summer days coming to an end, there is a good feeling about going back to comfort foods in the kitchen.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups cauliflower, cut bite size
  • 1 (350 g / 12 oz) package tortellini of choice
  • 1 (280 g/ 10 oz)  package fresh spinach
  • 1 1/2  cups combination of mozzarella, cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese 
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • freeze dried basil
Cheese Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups combination of mozzarella, cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • 1 tsp freeze dried basil
Method:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. 
  2. In the meantime, in a saucepan, melt butter, stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring. 
  3. Add flour, stirring in with whisk, gradually adding the milk and stirring until smooth. Add salt, cheese and basil and continue stirring until bubbly. Set aside. 
  4. To boiling water in large pot, add cauliflower and bring to boil again, then add tortellini.
  5. Bring to boil once more, cooking cauliflower and tortellini 5 minutes, then add spinach and cook until wilted.
  6. Drain and transfer pasta and vegetables into 2.5 liter /quart oven proof dish.
  7. Pour cheese sauce over top and mix in. Top with grated cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle with extra basil. 
  8. Bake at 375 F for 20 - 30 minutes. Serves 5

11 comments:

  1. Sounds and looks good - my family love casseroles so we will be having this on our menu soon. Thank you for posting!

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  2. This sounds so good! Where can I find freeze-dried basil?

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  3. Yummly indeed! I've never thought of freezing my Basil - I must give this a try!

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    1. I use both fresh and freeze dried basil. Freeze fresh and chop frozen basil quick before it thaws. (easier to chop when frozen). The freeze dried basil is found in the vegetable fridge section (I get it at Safeway) and it's a lot fresher tasting that plain dried. I mostly use it in Greek salad dressing. You probably grow your own. That's the best!

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    2. I'm back ... The freeze dried basil I get is Litehouse brand and comes in a small jar. I keep it in the fridge, once opened.

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    3. That is so good to know. I am definitely going to freeze what's left in the garden - thanks so much! I will also look for the freeze dried Litehouse brand!

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  4. I love the combination of cauliflower and pasta. The Litehouse freeze dried herbs are the best! I used orange cauliflower to give it a bit more color and I love the flavor of it. A great dish. Thank You!

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  5. what a fabulous idea - definitely going to give this one a try!

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  6. I'm glad to read the tips on freezing basil...so easy, and with an abundance usually in the garden it is the perfect solution! Thanks, Anneliese, and please keep up with the delicious recipes - I appreciate them so much!

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  7. Wow thanks for this recipe it looks very delicious, can't wait to try this one at home..

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  8. All ingredients I love! I must make this and thank you for reminding me to get out there and freeze my basil! It's a long winter without it! LOL! Thank you as always.

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