30 Minute, 3 Ingredient Meal: Tortellini Alla Pana

I don’t like to cook.  I think if I had more time (i.e. didn’t work full time) I’d like it more but who wants to slave away in the kitchen after working all day long?  When I find a good easy recipe it quickly becomes a staple in our home. 

Here are my criteria for a recipe to be a ‘staple’ in our home:

  1)  It takes me less than 30 minutes to make it
  2)  It has less than 5 ingredients
  3)  My picky hubby will eat it

Now I do make things from time to time that have more ingredients than that.  One of my favorite things to bake is a Hershey Bar Cake (yum!) and I love to make Cowboy Beans to take to a picnic.  And I love this recipe I have for baked oatmeal (will have to share that one soon…it’s really good!).   But those are not things that I make on a regular basis around here.  All of the ‘staples’ in our family fit the above criteria.

So I am going to start a new feature on my blog of our favorite EASY recipes!  The first is Tortellini Alla Pana.  This recipe meets all the criteria so we eat it often!  I got the idea from a lovely little Italian restaurant nearby.  I almost always order this when we eat there and I decided that it really couldn’t be all that hard to make so I tried it at home and was surprised at how good it was!

1)  Start with some pre-made tortellini.  Fresh tortellini (you can find it usually in the dairy/refrigerated section of the grocery store) is best but I used frozen this time because it was on sale.   But really the fresh is much, much better!  Boil until tender and drain.


2)  While the tortellini is boiling, fry up a few peices of bacon.  I love the flavor of the bacon in it so I usually use at least 4 large peices.  I have also used the precooked bacon and it’s good too–but not as good as the real deal.   


 3)  Add one jar of alfredo sauce to the tortellini along with the bacon which you have crumbled into small peices.  I usually get the more expensive jars of alfredo sauce–it’s so much better than the cheap stuff!  One day I want to make this with my own homemade Alfredo Sauce–as long as it doesn’t involve more than 5 ingredients of course!


 4)  Cook over low heat until the sauce is warm and has thickened up a bit and there ya have it!   Very easy and delicious!  Add some bread and something green as a side (lime jello apparently doesn’t count–see my post below!) and you have a nice cheap meal!  Depending on which tortellini I buy I can make a meal for 4 for about $6.  Trust me though, the fresh tortellini is sooooooo much better and is worth the few extra bucks if you have it to spare!   


Next up:  3 ingredient peanut butter cookies!

5 Responses to “30 Minute, 3 Ingredient Meal: Tortellini Alla Pana”

  1. 1 Aaron April 15, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Picky hubby here,

    TAP is da bomb!

    My favorite 30 minute recipe is Frozen Pizza Extravaganza.

    1 frozen pizza
    20-24 minutes in the oven

    It meets all the criteria.

  2. 2 Alison April 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Bacon, pasta, cheesy-white sauce…all MY criteria for a yummy meal 🙂 Unfortunately, Dean doesn’t like alfredo! CRAZY!

  3. 3 Gina April 15, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Sounds DELISH! I can’t wait to try it 🙂

  4. 4 thevegasproject April 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Hey girl,
    Here’s my homemade alfredo sauce. So, so easy…

    1/3 c. butter
    1 3/4 c. whipping cream
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    3/4 c. grated parmesan

    Melt butter (sometimes I saute onions in it.) Stir in cream and pepper. Heat through. Stir in grated parm. Throw in pasta. Sprinkle with fresh parm if you have it. Yum, yum, and more yum.

    Thanks for the new recipe!


    P.S. I just got a soup recipe and a dessert recipe accepted to a homeschool moms cookbook. The only requirements was that the main course had to be under $5 to make and the dessert under $3. Will let you know when it comes out b/c I think it will be right up your alley.

  5. 5 lsaufley April 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks Nikki! I’ll try that next time we make this! Definitely let me know about the cookbook! That’s pretty cool.

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April 2009

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