Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. While I love to curl up by a warm fire on a cold winter night, I certainly love something yummy to warm my belly. It has been awfully chilly the past couple of days! I don’t know about you, but aside from the cold, there may be extra stresses right now – and with stress my appetite changes. Life has thrown me for a loop or two in the past couple of weeks and I have noticed craving different types of foods. I haven’t been a big meat eater as of lately, and all I want is to dive into a bowl of something warm and creamy. Because I was starting to tire of soup, I thought why not a new macaroni and cheese recipe? So many variations on the dish – I’m sure I could come up with another way.
During a recent shopping trip to Safeway, I spotted Barilla Tortellini – a love of mine! I quite enjoy tortellini and I didn’t know that Barilla made a dry version of the tasty pasta so I was very excited to give it a try! Tortellini can make for a very tasty dish in no time at all, because a lot of the work and flavor has already been prepped! Not only that but Safeway and it’s affiliate stores have a current in-store promotion of $.75 off the purchase of ONE (1) package of Barilla® Tortellini. Between the extra savings and endless meal possibilities I say it’s time to test out a new mac and cheese dish! Enter Tortellini Mac and Cheesy!
Cooking up different pasta varieties and changing up your cheeses can really make a difference in a mac and cheese recipe. It can be a whole new recipe every time you create it! I find that the combination of the three cheese tortellini (by Barilla) with strong cheeses such as Fontina and Dubliner, mixed into a white sauce, tastes very gourmet and delish. Each of the kids came back for seconds, which means a winning mac and cheese in my book. Plus, I like the name Tortellini Mac and Cheesy!
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- 1 package Barilla Tortellini (cheese or spinach will work)
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup shredded Fontina cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Dubliner cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Chopped Thyme for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375° and grease a 1½ qt baking dish.
- Prepare tortellini according to package direction. Cooking should take about 11 minutes, which is when you can prepare the sauce.
- When tortellini is cooked, drain and pour into baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Using a whisk, stir in flour until thick and bubbly. Continue to whisk while adding milk and Dijon. Continue to stir until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to allow mixture to stick to the bottom.
- To cream mixture, add shredded Fontina and Dubliner cheese. Stir in a figure-8 motion until all cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce over tortellini and gently stir to combine. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top and bake for 25 minutes. Cheese on top should slightly begin to turn golden.
- Garnish individual servings with thyme, or other fresh herbs, if desired.