Growing up, after dinner was over, the rule was that everyone always pitched in and helped clean the kitchen. And I hated it. (Turns out like most things my parents made me do as a kid that I hated I grew up to thank them for, except for the whole if-I-sleep-with-my-socks-on-my-feet-will-fall-off thing.) My dad was almost always the “dish rinser” and as the years went by, I often settled into the “dish stacker,” meaning I loaded the dishwasher. To this day, I’m still a little obsessive with how the dishes are arranged in the dishwasher…I have a system and it’s best for everyone if they just leave it alone.
One thing I never understood about my dad “rinsing” the dishes was that he was actually doing a full-blown dish washing. We had a long-running joke in the Randle household that the dishes went into the dishwasher cleaner than when they came out. He could not be deterred from hand-washing every single dish, every pot, every pan, and every utensil with soap and hot water. He was (is) not afraid of a kitchen mess and will tackle even the largest pile of dishes with his bottle of soap and good spirits (although some of the messier messes might have some swear words thrown in…)
As an adult, I’ve discovered that I kind of love hand-washing my dishes. Not to the same extent–most of our dishes go straight to the dishwasher or, if they’re gross, get a quick rinse under the sink. But my favorite part of doing the dishes is when the dishwasher is loaded and running and I’m left with the stuff that can’t go in. The dirty jobs. There’s something so satisfying and relaxing about filling a dirty pan with hot, soapy water to soak while I clean the knives and cutting boards.
Because Sara and I have been known to make a mess in the kitchen, we’re excited to be teaming up with Palmolive and Freddy Prinze Jr. to bring you our version of a “Messipe”–a messy recipe! Check out Freddie’s own Messipes on the Palmolive Facebook here and in this printable guide here!
I love my enamel Dutch Oven cookware, but it should never, ever, ever go into the dishwasher (no matter what they tell you. Just. Don’t. Do it.) I’ve made some pretty great messes in mine, but clean-up is super easy if you rinse out any easy-to-remove messes, then add hot water and a few drops of hand dishwashing detergent like Palmolive Ultra Strength and let it soak for a few minutes.
Messipe Tip: Easy messes will come out with a dish cloth, but if that won’t do the trick, you might need to step up your game with a nylon dish brush. If you still have stuff that won’t come out, rinse out the pan, add fresh water, bring it to a boil on the stove, then remove from heat and add a few drops of detergent and let it soak for a few hours and voila! Magic.
But anyway. Enough about cleaning up this cheesy, saucy baked pasta that your family will love and more about how to make it!
For the sauce, you’ll need 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, 6-8 ounces fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, Italian seasoning, a little sugar and baking soda, and garlic.
You’ll also need a 20-ounce package of your favorite tortellini (I love something with sausage or chicken and cheese in this recipe) 8 ounces of grated mozzarella and 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan (grate it yourself if possible–pre-shredded cheese is coated with a powder that makes it melt weirdly.) You’ll also need a 20-ounce package of your favorite tortellini. Messipe Tip: Before grating the cheese, fold a paper towel and add a drop of Palmolive Ultra Strength. When you’re done grating the cheese, give the grater a quick wipe to prevent the cheese from drying and to make clean-up quick and easy.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While the water is heating, slice the tomatoes in half
and heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (if possible.) Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to burst.
Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat. Messipe tip: instead of a spoon rest, use a small salad plate that can be cleaned easily.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Remove the sauce from heat. Drain the tortellini and transfer to the sauce pot or use a slotted spoon to remove the tortellini from the water and add to the sauce. Stir gently to combine,
then top with the shredded mozzarella and parmesan.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Baked Cheesy Tortellini
A hearty and satisfying meal easy enough for a weeknight but fancy enough for company!
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 6-8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomates
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Pinch baking soda (to neutralize the acid)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 20 oz. refrigerated tortellini (something with sausage or chicken and cheese works great in this recipe, but your favorite variety will work!)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While the water is heating, heat the olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (if possible.) Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes begin to burst.
- Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then simmer, covered, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Add the tortellini to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Remove the sauce from heat. Drain the tortellini and transfer to the sauce pot or use a slotted spoon to remove the tortellini from the water and add to the sauce. Stir gently to combine, then top with the shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
This post was sponsored by Palmolive® Ultra Strength, but all opinions and recipes are ours.