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Cheese Tortellini with Sun-dried Tomato & Spinach Alfredo

Wondering what to cook for dinner tonight?  It's Meatless Monday and I'm sharing a fast, easy comforting pasta dinner that will work for Mondays or ANY weeknight you are short on time.  This cheese tortellini with sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spinach Alfredo is creamy, tangy and incredibly delicious.  I used a variation on my classic Alfredo recipe for this sauce, (because it's utter perfection), but then added in some extra flavor by boosting the garlic and throwing in sun-dried tomatoes and spinach - I like to cut up the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach super small for fussy palates at this house, but if you like it more chunky, feel free to chop them a little larger.  

If you ARE wanting some meat with this dish, try adding in 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken when you add in the the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach - we love it with this addition too and using a rotisserie chicken means not only is it inexpensive, but all the work is already done for you!  Serve this dish up with a side salad and some hot crusty bread and you have a wildly delicious dinner that is quick and easy to throw together.

Ingredients:

  • 20-24oz pkg cheese tortellini
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 5oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped finely
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach, chopped finely
  • Pasta water (reserve some of the water the pasta is cooked in)
Instructions:
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook tortellini as directed on package.  Reserve a cup of pasta water then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large 4-5qt sauté pan, add the butter and let melt over medium-high heat.  Add the minced garlic and let cook for just a minute.
  3. Add the heavy cream and half and half to the garlic butter mixture and continue to whisk until it starts to simmer.
  4. Add in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and continue to whisk until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is pretty smooth.
  5. Add in the finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes and baby spinach.  Let everything come to a simmer.  
  6. Pour the sauce over the drained tortellini, add 1/4 cup pasta water and stir until well combined.  Add more pasta water as needed until the sauce is the desired consistency.  (You don't need to use all the pasta water.)

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