Pasta and sauce has long been the choice in-a-rush meal here at the Small Table. There are three long-simmer sauces that I like to make when I have time (recipes to come), but in a pinch a good jar-sauce can be a wonderful thing. Upgrade your standard pasta-and-sauce dinner with some sausage, parmesan, mozzarella, and tortellini. This makes enough to have a little for lunch the next day, which can be just what you need when you’re short on time.
This recipe is based on weight-measurement of food. For so, so long I held out on buying a little digital kitchen scale, and even avoided recipes that used weights. Over the years however, I have realized how much more precise it is, how little time it really takes, and how much easier it is to exactly scale a recipe up or down when you use weights. Subsequently, I fell deeply in love with my kitchen scale.
Use your 8-inch (oven-safe) skillet for this recipe. First, weigh out 4 ounces of frozen cheese tortellini. (O.K.– that’s just about one cup-full, but I’m telling you, THE SCALE IS BETTER!) Cook it in a small pot according to package directions, then drain. Meanwhile, cut a round, one pound package of bulk pork sausage into quarters. Wrap the three extra quarters separately and well in plastic wrap, and freeze for later use. Brown the remaining 1/4-pound of sausage in the skillet over medium heat, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon as you cook. Drain off any extra fat by tipping the pan slightly and removing the fat with a spoon.
Add cooked tortellini, pasta sauce, and parmesan cheese to the skillet. Cook and stir gently over medium heat until combined and the sauce is hot, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top, slip it under the broiler in your oven, and watch carefully as the cheese melts and becomes gooey and golden. Remove from the oven when it’s done exactly how you like it. Enjoy!
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