Sausage, kale and tortellini pasta bake

Many tortellini fillings would work in this rustic pasta bake.
Many tortellini fillings would work in this rustic pasta bake. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Kid-friendly

An edible hug is pretty high on the agenda right now, and this pantry- and freezer-raided staple is exactly that. It's also dinner, and lunch the next day, and the day after that, if you want to scrape the remnants between two bits of bread and make a jaffle. This is a great way to put my 'quarantine sauce' to use (recipe here).

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500g beef sausages, casings removed, meat roughly torn into chunks

500g store-bought fresh tortellini (any filling works well eg. beef or spinach and cheese)

400g can chopped tomatoes

700ml quarantine sauce (or tomato passata)

1 cup white wine

about 1 cup coarsely torn cavolo nero leaves (Tuscan kale)

½ - ¾ cup cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, whatever you can find in your fridge)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Place a large frypan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and once a sheen appears across the surface, add the onion and cook until fragrant and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring often to prevent burning.

3. Add the sausage meat and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned and just cooked through. Add the chopped tomatoes, quarantine sauce (or passata) and the wine, give it a good stir, then pour mixture into a high-sided baking dish.

4. Add the raw tortellini, making sure you submerge the pasta into the sauce. Gently push most of the cavolo nero leaves into the dish, reserving a few to scatter over the top to serve. Cover with cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown on the surface, and the tortellini is cooked through. Scatter over reserved cavolo nero and serve piping hot.

Note: Here I've coarsely torn some cavolo nero leaves and pushed them into the saucy depths for a bit of green factor; you could easily replace with frozen peas or spinach.