Sweet tomato sauce and a spot of bechamel surround baked tortellini in this vegetarian pasta recipe. Savoury and sweet, though not necessarily light for the figure, this recipe uses Marcella Hazan’s technique for a simple tomato sauce but feel free to substitute your own.
You can also skip the baking step if you are pressed for time but I love baking pastas; baking means I can either prep it ahead entirely and slam it in the oven at dinner time, or have it wait in the oven for me while I finish other components of the meal.
Baked Tomato Béchamel Tortellini Recipe(serves 4)
Make the béchamel:
1. In a medium saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until it foams, then whisk in the flour.
2. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes stirring regularly, this will allow the flour to cook out.
3. Slowly whisk in the milk a 1/2 cup at a time. Between each addition of milk, don't add any more until it is well incorporated and the mixture is simmering.
4. Once all the milk is incorporated add the bay leaf & a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You can either cool & refrigerate this if you want to make it ahead, or you can assemble immediately.
Make the tomato sauce:
1. In a medium saucepan combine the tomatoes and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Remove the skin from the onion and trim the root. Add to the pot.
2. Bring to a gently simmer and cook for at least 90 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. After that you can either cool & refrigerate this if you want to make it ahead, or you can assemble immediately. Remove the onion before serving.
1. Preheat the oven to 400F and boil a large pot of water.
2. Liberally salt the water and cook the tortellini until just slightly underdone using the package directions as a guidance. Drain.
3. Combine in a casserole the tomato sauce & tortellini. Remove the bay leaf from the béchamel. Stir half of the béchamel into the tortellini and spoon the remainder on top. Sprinkle with the parmesan.
4. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.