I mentioned that I was trying this recipe back on Feb 25th. Forgot to post it until now- it's definitely a keeper!
1 bag frozen tortellini
1 bag fresh spinach, washed and chopped or 1 bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted & squeezed dry
2 cans italian style diced tomatoes
1 box veggie or chicken broth
1 block of cream cheese, cubed
Put everything in a crockpot on low heat and simmer for 4-6 hours.
That's the basic recipe. It's hard to get much simpler. So, of course I had to complicate it a touch. Normally I make a recipe the way it's written the first time I try it, but this one just called out for some extra touches. so, in addition to the ingredients above:
1/4- 1/2 lb italian sausage, cooked & crumbled
1 lg clove garlic, smashed & browned with the sausage
1 small onion, chopped and browned with the sausage
8 oz mushrooms (I used cremini, but white are fine) rough chopped
Stir all of those in with the other ingredients. I also added some extra garlic powder and italian seasoning. Stir well to combine before serving. I sprinkled a little Parmesan over the top of each bowl I ate.
Here's the catch. You HAVE to watch the cooking time. Mine went for 8-9 hours because I threw it together before coming to work. The pasta WILL go mushy on you if you let it go too long. It was still good, but gloppy.
This could also be adapted for stovetop. I'd combine everything except the pasta & cheese in a pot and let it simmer over low heat for an hour or two. (add more stock if it needs it) Bring to a boil, add pasta, cook for recommended time on pasta package. Reduce to simmer, add cream cheese in batches, stirring to melt & distribute evenly. Remove from heat & let sit for 5 minutes- if you can- for flavors to meld, before serving as above.
Seriously- if you like the stuff in this one, try it!