I’m Italian. I need pasta like I need oxygen. But when the heat of summer keeps me out of the kitchen and away from my favorite Italian recipes (hello, lasagna), I turn to this one. Pasta recipes like this Easy Cheese Tortellini recipe satisfy my Italian side. I think something wired in my brains craves cheesy pasta dishes–and this certainly delivers.
The hint of lemon adds a bit of freshness. It is a good reminder that, hey, it’s summer. We don’t need to overcomplicate things here. It doesn’t mean that we should eat junk, but it does mean that it’s okay to pare down the list of ingredients so we can spend more time doing and less time shopping, standing in line, standing in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, and repeat. Instead, keep a bag of refrigerated tortellini on hand in your refrigerator so you can easily turn to this recipe whenever you are short of time or want extra time outside. Believe me, I’ve been there too. Pair it with homegrown tomatoes or make a visit to your local farmer’s market to see what you’ve been missing in the tomato department. Seriously, it makes a difference! Good tomatoes add so much. Don’t skimp on the tomatoes. If you love cherry tomatoes like I love cherry tomatoes, believe me when I say that they are incredible in this recipe. Without them, I am not sure the recipe would have nearly as interesting a flavor. Do keep them in, okay?
Before we take off and do some traveling, I find this to be an ideal recipe to serve the evening before we leave. My husband, Jeremy, or I are able to throw it together relatively quickly, which is great when there are a million and one things on the “to do” list and time is running out. It’s easy enough that no one needs to think about it. You know what I mean? Sometimes, there’s so much going on you just can’t devote even an extra ounce of brain power to one more thing. With this recipe, you don’t have to. To top it off, we are able to finish the pasta(or at least come really close to it). I am able to use up any tomatoes I have sitting around so I won’t return home to a kitchen full of fruit flies. It’s a satisfying recipe for so many reasons.
Whatever you do, do not reach for the shake-y can of Parmesan cheese. Instead, look for the real stuff already shredded in the same section as the typical bagged cheeses, or buy a handheld cheese grater and grate your own block of it. Fancier Parmesans are typically located near the deli section of your local grocery store. No matter which style you choose, it will be better than the canned version, trust me.
Our boys cheer whenever I serve this easy summery meal. Inwardly, so do I! You won’t believe how quick and easy it is to prepare. I got this recipe from Rachel Ray Magazine July/August 2013.
Easy Cheese Tortellini Recipe
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