Welcome to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187 Chatter. Summer is a time when I prefer to cook less with my stove and more with cooler appliances. In addition to grill food, the slow cooker I own gets quite a workout. Reasonable because it takes less expensive, tougher cuts of meat and yields a dinner that is tender, moist, and delicious, it is a fantastic tool to make short work of dinner! And, because I love Italian food but hate to stand over a hot pot of boiling water in the middle of summer, I look for recipes that work with pasta in the slow cooker as well. I like to be gone in the summer, swimming, playing, and exploring and a slow cooker allows for throwing simple ingredients together in the morning and providing a fantastic dinner at the end of the day with no work in between. Check out today’s recipe that can be done in a slow cooker.
Cheesy Crockpot Tortellini
By Linda Larsen as found on About.com
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
26- ounce jar pasta sauce
14 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
9- ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup shredded pizza cheese OR grated Parmesan cheese
Cook sausage in heavy skillet over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir sausage frequently to break it up as it cooks. Drain well and place in 4-5 quart slow cooker. Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning and stir well.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Then, stir in tortellini, cover again, and cook on low for 20-40 minutes or until pasta is tender and heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and let stand 5 minutes before serving. 4 servings.
Although there are a couple of extra steps this recipe is simple and cuts down on the hot work of boiling the pasta and cooking the sauce on stovetop. Keep the cooked sausage in a container in the refrigerator so it is ready to go the morning you need it. While the pasta is cooking the last half hour before the meal, make a tossed salad and cut a baguette to serve with the meal. Experiment with different flavored sauces and tortellini to vary the taste and add to your dinner repertoire.
This is one of the more “involved” recipes for a slow cooker meal, but they all cut down on loads of work to prepare a home cooked meal. Slow cookers are one of my favorite kitchen tools, not just in summer, but also all year long. Look for more slow cooker recipes in the weeks and months to come. To access any former recipes from Chief 187 Chatter, simply type “Tantalizing Thursday” into the Search box located in the upper left hand corner of this page. Happy Eating!
Please join me tomorrow for the Friday Music Blog, an interactive post that is a truly fun way to end the week!