This is a wonderful recipe for summertime, when most of our goals point to spending time outside, NOT in the kitchen. Cooking with a slow cooker will definitely do the trick and free you up to spend more time enjoying the outdoors (who says slow cookers are just for the cooler months?), and the preparation for this meal couldn’t be easier – another bonus! Need another? How about this: as with anything made in a slow cooker, your home will smell absolutely incredible throughout the cooking process, all without your presence required. (There are so many reasons to love a slow cooker…)
Make this recipe, and you’ll see that after a few short steps of prep time, the pasta and its sauce will be cooked to perfection in about 3 hours. That means a quick trip to the beach, some time out by the pool, time sunbathing, or even time in the garden can be enjoyed while dinner is slowly bubbling away back in the kitchen. After the initial cooking time is over, you can add in a cup of frozen peas or a handful of baby spinach leaves (or both) at the last minute, stir them into the sauce, let them sit for about 10 minutes, and you can soon taste what is making your home smell so heavenly.
Once you see how easy and delicious this dish is, you’ll find yourself wanting to “mix it up” a bit by using different flavored tortelloni (meat-filled will work just fine here was well), or you may even want to substitute tortelloni’s sibling, tortellini (a smaller version of tortelloni) for a change. Add in different veggies as well – experiment and have fun.
Simple, easy, and delicious: this is everything a summertime pasta dish should be.
Slow Cooker Tortelloni in a Creamy Tomato Sauce
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (half a brick)
• 2 can diced tomatoes, with their juices (petite cut diced tomatoes are best)
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 1/3 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
• ¼ teaspoon Italian Seasonings
• 1 13-ounce box (or 14-ounce bag) frozen cheese tortelloni
• 1 cup frozen peas
• Additional Romano cheese for garnish
Puree the cream cheese and 1 can of diced tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor until creamy, about 15 seconds. Transfer the mixture to the crock of a slow cooker, and add the remaining can of tomatoes.
Add the vegetable broth, Romano cheese, and Italian Seasoning; stir well to combine.
Add the frozen tortelloni, and stir again to combine.
Cover the crock, and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, turn off the slow cooker, uncover, and gently stir the pasta to combine it nicely with the sauce.
Add the frozen peas, stir again, and cover for 10 minutes, just until the peas have warmed through (no need to turn the slow cooker back on; the sauce will stay hot covered in the crock). Uncover the slow cooker, and let the cooker sit for a few minutes to cool a bit.
Ladle the pasta into bowls and serve hot, garnished with additional cheese if desired.