3 Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce

Mar 17, 2006 by ceejamon | 1 Comments| Share it:   



1 rating


3 Cheese Tortellini with a Meat Sauce
I’m cooking up a pretty simple dinner tonight, and I thought I’d let you in on it. It’s 3 cheese Tortellini with a meat sauce. The sauce is from scratch, the tortellini is store bought. It’s a very simple dish, it’s just a little time consuming.


  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: 1 - 2 hrs.
  • Serves: 4

Filed Under


  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 28oz cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Herbes de Provence
  • Cumin (not pictured)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 85/15 Ground Round
  • Buitoni 3-Cheese Tortellini
  • 1/3 cup Sugar (not pictured)
  • Salt & Pepper

Step 1

First things first, I drain the tomatoes. I'm saving the juice, however. If I just used this juice in the sauce, it'd be watery. So I'm going to reduce it down with some other flavors and use it as the base. At this point you may be notice that this recipe looks an awful lot like Alton Brown's Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce. I guess great minds think alike. Mine's a little different though, plus it has meat.


Step 2

Next, seed the tomatoes. Just bust them open and swipe out the seeds with your fingers. Seeds go down the sink. Tomatoes go into a separate bowl for now. I'm not anal about getting every single seed, but I do take my time with this. Seeds make a sauce bitter.


Step 3

Let the tomatoes sit for a minute. More juice will seep from them. Add that to the pot. To this, I add 1 dash of red pepper flake, 10 dashes of dried oregano, a healthy pinch of herbes de provence, 1/4 cup balsamic, and 1/3 cup sugar. Turn up the heat and let it reduce. This will take a while.


Step 4

Meanwhile, I chop up my veggies. 1 Yellow onion, 3 large cloves of garlic, 2 celery stalks, and some carrot. This goes into a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil on LOW heat. I'm just sweating it. My wife hates chunks of carrot, and I tend to keep little baby carrots around for snacking. So I'm just taking those and thinly slicing them with my peeler. It'll get the flavor in there, but will practically melt into the sauce. She'll never even know they're in there.


Step 5

Veggies in the pot...


Step 6



Step 7

OK, that's going, now it's time to brown the meat. A little Extra virgin olive oil in a hot pan, and in goes the meat.


Step 8

1 dash of cumin just for the hell of it, and plenty of herbs de provence (seeing a patern here?).


Step 9

While that's going, I get my wife to crush the tomatoes.


Step 10

After they're crushed, I add them to the veggies.


Step 11

Cook some of that water away.


Step 12

I had turned off the base reduction a few minutes ago. It's done reducing when the bubbles start to stack on top of each other. It's still plenty hot. Time to turn it back on now and add all these veggies.


Step 13

I don't want it this chunky, so I get the stick blender and get it down to a smoother consistency. I left some veggie chunks, but not too many. Now, in goes the meat.


Step 14



Step 15

I'll let that cook together a bit while I boil this tortellini. It should take less than 10 minutes.


Step 16

Serve the 3 Cheese Tortellini with Meat Sauce.

Now that you have learned how to make 3 cheese tortellini with meat sauce, please be sure to view these other pasta recipes. Also, you will love these Italian recipes.


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1 Comment

user does not have an avatar Matt Kay

Sep 24, 2010

Your recipe looks quite a bit like mine as well!  :D

The difference lies in that after I cook the onion, celery and carrot, I add the garlic, then deglaze the pan with a swig of red wine and add the tomatoes.

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