When I was pregnant with the twins, one of my best friends asked me what she could make for us. My immediate response was Tuscan Tortellini Stew. This is a long loved favorite of mine, and it only took me about 5 years to get the recipe from her. It's a crockpot recipe which is always a plus. My new 6 quart crockpot is my favorite thing to cook with, well aside from our grill, but it's not getting much use right now.
I modified the original recipe and added double the tortellini. Two year olds are picky, and most days pasta is a guaranteed food. Squash however is not. I didn't add extra vegetables when I made this, but only because my crockpot was already full. If I have more room next time, I'll probably add carrots and some extra green beans.
Tuscan Tortellini Stew
1 (2lb) Butternut squash - peeled, seeded and cut into 1"cubes
1 large zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 large yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
4 oz fresh green beans cut into 2" pieces
1 28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
32 oz vegetable broth
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
4 coves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp salt
20oz package fresh cheese tortellini
5oz package baby spinach
1. Prep all vegetables.
2. Place all ingredients, except tortellini and spinach, in a 5 or 6 quart crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or high for 3.
3. Turn crockpot to high. Stir in tortellini and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Stir in spinach and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.
Notes: If you like a little spice to your food, crushed red pepper is a great garnish. I do prefer this fresh from the crockpot, but it also freezes very well and keeps in the fridge for up to a week.