Cheese Tortellini with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes

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I often wondered how I could make more of tortellini than it already is. I mean, how do you improve something that you can just boil and it’s already a full, tasty meal? It’s a dish you usually toss in butter and serve with extra cheese. But I chose to combine it with roasted eggplants and tomatoes. The result is a rich earthy, cheesy, absolutely delicious pasta dish that can be prepared in an hour. I’m telling you, one portion of this is not going to be enough.

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For the roasted vegetables

  • 2 medium-large eggplants, diced in small, bite size cubes
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta

  • 2 X 250 grams pack “Mitsides” cheese tortellini
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 x 200 grams “Mitsides” tomato passata
  • 1 x 70 grams “Mitsides” tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbs cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 Tbs parmesan cheese, grated

Method

Preheat oven to 200 C. Put diced eggplants and cherry tomatoes (cut side up) in a baking tray. Mix the olive oil with the garlic and drizzle on top of the veggies. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring once, until nicely roasted. Leave the oven on and lower the heat to 175 C.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season water with salt and add the tortellini. Boil for 16-18 minutes, until cooked through. Drain and keep some of the cooking water.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the wine and let it evaporate for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata, tomato paste, sugar and basil leaves and mix well. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Assemble the dish. Put drained tortellini in a baking dish and mix with the tomato sauce. Add the roasted eggplant and cherry tomatoes, the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup of the tortellini cooking water. Mix everything well together. Sprinkle with the parmesan and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve at once.

Note: You can sprinkle the tortellini with mozzarella instead of parmesan for that extra gooey goodness. You may need to bake it slightly longer (about 20 minutes) for the mozzarella to melt.

 

 

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