Tortellini and Creamy Tomato Sauce with Onions and Basil

(I apologize if you checked out the Ruby Spoon the last 2 days and noticed anything “weird”. I had to do some behind the scenes work, but thankfully that hassle is over and done with.)

My Italian food vice is anything cheese-filled. I have a hard time branching out at my favorite Italian joint when there are things like manicotti, ravioli, and tortellini on the menu. So in keeping with my love of all things cheese-filled, here is a tortellini recipe that brings joy to my heart. It is simple to make and can work well for a tasty weeknight meal.


Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
42.5 oz of whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz can + 14.5 oz can) RESERVE JUICE

½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade (see pics below)
salt to taste
1 pound of cheese Tortellini (like Buitoni Three Cheese Tortellini)
Parmigiano Reggiano

Chop the whole tomatoes and add to a large measuring cup. Once you have chopped all of the tomatoes add enough of the reserved tomato juice to equal 2 2/3 cups.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot.

Meanwhile heat the butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat and sauté until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes: increase the heat to medium high and cook until any liquid given off by the tomatoes evaporates and the tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 8-10 minutes.

Cook the tortellini according to directions until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

Stir the cream, basil, and salt to taste into the tomato sauce and simmer until the cream thickens slightly, about 2 minutes longer. Toss the pasta with the sauce and reserved cooking water and top with a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano.

other options:
* omit the cream to make it a bit healthier
* any type of pasta will work, but I can’t pass up the cheese filled ones
* if you prefer a smoother sauce, blend the chunky tomato sauce in a blender or food processor before adding the basil, cream & salt.
* serve with crusty garlic bread and a glass of wine!

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4 Replies to “Tortellini and Creamy Tomato Sauce with Onions and Basil”

  1. making this tonight…i’m gonna add bacon and mushrooms because they are going bad in my fridge! i hope my additions don’t dishonor this recipe 🙂

  2. therubyspoon says:

    that sounds great! Let me know how you like it, I’ll have to try that next time I make it. Bacon makes everything better 🙂

  3. It was delish!

  4. therubyspoon says:

    will have to try it with bacon and mushrooms next time!

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