Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Tuscan Tortellini Stew

As anyone in the northern half of the country knows, it's freezing right now. It's so cold out that Brooke is mostly refusing to walk on her own because her face hurts from the air. We will be spending the majority of this week avoiding the outdoors and dreaming about summer. I'm ready for 80 degrees and sunny, but at this point I'd settle for 30 and partly cloudy.

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.

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