Commentary by Adam Aasen, co-owner of Donatello’s Italian Restaurant in Carmel
One of our most popular dishes at Donatello’s Italian Restaurant is the Tortellini Michelangelo, which has cheese-filled pasta with a blush-cream sauce. For the sake of simplicity to modify this dish at home, you can buy tortellini and tomato sauce instead of making them from scratch.
Serves: 1 to 2 people
One cup heavy whipping cream
One third cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fatty bacon
1/4 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/4 cup diced white onions
1/3 cup smooth tomato sauce
2 pats butter
12 pieces of large cheese-filled tortellini
Put on a medium pot of water to boil pasta. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add butter and bacon. The melted butter and bacon grease will coat the pan but don’t let the butter burn, otherwise you’ll need to start over. Add onions and mushrooms and let them sizzle in the pan until they are cooked but not wilted. You don’t want crunchy onions in your dish. Add heavy whipping cream and stir. Use a whisk to help thicken the cream using a heat reduction. Add finely grated Parmesan and stir as you add the cheese to thicken the sauce. Don’t turn up the heat too high or you’ll scorch the cream and add an unwelcome flavor. Once reduced, add the tomato sauce and stir, stir, stir. You want everything to mix together instead of separating or forming globs. You want an orange tint. You can add more or less based on your preference but too much tomato sauce will make for a watery thin sauce. While making the sauce, you’ll be cooking the tortellini in boiling water. Follow the time it says on the package if you bought pre-made tortellini, but generally it should be three to five minutes. Add the fresh cooked tortellini to the sauce while it’s still hot and it will absorb some of the sauce before you scoop it into a bowl. Once you’ve had success making this dish, you can try your hand at adding homemade pasta to the recipe.