When I visited New Jersey recently, I experienced something incredible. It was pizza, but unlike any pizza I’d ever had before. There was a beautiful thin, foldable crust and big generous slices. And the pizza was topped with….tortellini, tasty cheese-filled tortellini covered in a white sauce and mozzarella cheese. It was probably the best slice of pizza I’d ever had. The combination of delicious, creamy, cheesy pasta and handheld pizza was mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe how well it worked.
After I ate that pizza, I could not get it out of my mind. Unfortunately, finding awesome pizza like that in CNY is just not possible. They primarily stick to traditional toppings here, and you couldn’t find a big, generously-sized slice if your life depended on it. Luckily, there was still a way to be reunited with my beloved tortellini pizza without going all the way back to Jersey. I could make my own!
Turns out, my Tortellini Pizza was even better than the stuff I had in Jersey. I made a thin, crisp crust and blanketed it in a homemade creamy parmesan sauce. Then, I topped it with tender tortellinis, a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, and some fresh oregano. Finally, I baked this baby until it was golden brown and bubbling.
Guys, if you have any question in your mind about merging pasta with pizza, then please, let me set you straight. It’s incredible. It’s perfection. It’s two SUPER foods in one! Do you see how excited I am? I may or may not be salivating at the thought of enjoying another slice of this heavenly, heavenly pizza. That creamy, cheesy parmesan sauce is AMAZING, perfectly thick & smooth. I could’ve enjoyed a bowl of pasta with some of that stuff on its own. But when you add those tortellini, cooked perfectly al dente, and serve it up on a crisp pizza crust, you get something so out-of-this-world that you can do nothing but forget what time of day it is and drift away to heaven.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- I know you’re worried about how indulgent this is, but you’ve got to indulge from time to time. This pizza is worth every single calorie.
- A blush sauce would also be incredible on this pizza.
- You could use basil or parsley instead of the oregano.
- Use whole grain tortellini and a whole grain crust to add some nutrition.
- Top with spinach to get some greens in there.
- Putting cornmeal on the bottom of the crust makes it super crisp and crunchy, just like from the pizzeria!
- You must, MUST cook the tortellini al dente (meaning that it still has just a bit of bite left in it). It’s still going to bake a bit more on top of the pizza, and you don’t want it to turn soggy. Ick!
- Do not replace the shredded parmesan with grated. The sauce will not thicken as much or have as much flavor.
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 20 oz. tortellini*, cooked until al dente
- cornmeal, for dusting the pizza pan
- pizza dough (store-bought or homemade), at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano
*You will have much more tortellini and sauce then you need for this pizza. The good news is, you can save whatever tortellini and sauce you don’t use for dinner another night. It’s so good, plus you knock out 2 nights of cooking with 1 recipe.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the bottom of a pizza pan with a thin, even layer of cornmeal. Spread out the dough as thin as you like (I recommend nice and thin) and lay over the cornmeal-covered pan. Bake the crust plain for 5-10 minutes, or until set but not yet browned. Set aside, but leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, make the parmesan cream sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour until lump-free. Then add the cream, whisking continuously until smooth. Cover and let simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Do not boil.
- Whisk in the milk, starting with 1/2 cup. You may add the additional 1/4 cup if you would like your sauce thinner. Whisk in the cheese, salt, and pepper until cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in cooked tortellini.
- Pour about half the sauce and tortellini onto the pizza crust, using more or less based on your preference. Make sure the tortellinis are spread out evenly. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until pizza is golden brown and sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with fresh oregano, slice, and serve.
- Store extra tortellini w/ parmesan cream sauce in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. Heat in the microwave or stove top to enjoy a delicious meal the next day!