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Happy 2015! Have you started making your New Year's resolutions? I have. This year I want to make sure I exercise several times a week. I also want to work to create more original recipes on my blog. Finally, I want to get Back to Balance. What does this mean exactly? I want to be able to balance my full time special education job, my food blog, and my personal life so that I am able to do all three things to the best of my ability.
One of the first ways I'm going to do this is by working on my weeknight meals. I'm pretty good about menu planning every Sunday and shopping for my ingredients and I want to continue to do that. However, I'd really like to make sure I'm only spending about 30 minutes making dinner each night. Some nights I end up spending over an hour in the kitchen and I miss out on spending time with my husband. In order to do this I need to start making recipes with simple and fresh ingredients and I'm starting with this delicious recipe for BUITONI® Three Cheese Tortellini with Chicken, Spinach, and Mushrooms in a Light Vodka Sauce.
I know the name of the dish makes it sound complicated but I had the meal on the table and ready to go in 30 minutes. I used simple, easy to find ingredients from my local Walmart. I also used fresh spinach and mushrooms instead of canned or frozen. Then the star of this dish is the BUITONI® Three Cheese Tortellini. The tortellini is tender semolina pasta rings filled with three cheeses: fresh creamy ricotta, aged Parmesan and Romano. It comes in a 20 oz. bag which makes it not only perfect for dinner but also for leftovers the next day. That means I don't have to worry about packing a lunch in the morning because I can just grab a bowl of the leftover tortellini.
The first thing I did was start the sauce. It needed to simmer on the stove for 30 minutes while the rest of the meal is being made. The sauce is simple to make with just 6 ingredients. It's simmered over low heat and then lowfat milk is added at the very end.
While the sauce was simmering I brought a large pot of water to a boil and added the tortellini. Did you know that BUITONI® pasta is only made with 3 ingredients? It's simply semolina flour, fresh eggs, and water; that's it! Then the tortellini is filled with carefully crafted Italian cheeses: ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano. It's really more then just pasta, it's a meal filled with quality ingredients.
While the tortellini was cooking I began sauteing the chicken breasts in olive oil. Once it was cooked I added in the garlic, mushrooms, and spinach and cooked for just a few more minutes. That's it! It's that easy to create a fresh and delicious weekday supper that the entire family can enjoy.
To put the dish together I scooped up the fresh tortellini and placed it on two plates. Then I ladled on the light vodka sauce. I finished it off with the sauteed chicken, mushrooms, and spinach. This pasta dish smelled great and looked good too! It's a great combination of fresh ingredients that makes for a tasty weeknight dinner. There was plenty leftover for both my husband and I to enjoy it for lunch the next day as well. Best of all was that start to finish I had it on the table in 30 minutes so I could spend more time in the evening with my husband.
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ c. vodka
- 1 T. Italian seasonings
- Black pepper and salt
- ¾ c. lowfat milk
- 20 oz. BUITONI® Three Cheese Tortellini
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ c. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 c. fresh spinach
- Combine the crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, vodka, Italian seasonings, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large pot filled with water over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook for 8 minutes. Drain and keep warm.
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch thick strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes or until it is no longer pink.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat.
- Add the lowfat milk to the vodka sauce and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- To serve scoop the tortellini onto a plate. Spoon the light vodka sauce over top of the tortellini. Top the pasta off with the chicken, mushroom, and spinach mixture.