SuperFast One Pan Tortellini Gratin

7 Dec

In general I would say I am a pretty open-minded eater (the absurdity of my assumed dietary restrictions notwithstanding…), but there is one territory I almost never venture into: Italian food. Blech.

To be clear, it isn’t Italian food… it’s Olive Gardenization of Italian food in America (see also, Carbone). Rest assured, if I were in Rome I would do as all the Romans do and eat everything in sight. But instead, I am surrounded by people whose claim to authenticity includes the mispronunciation of “risotto.” Alas. (I would be remiss if I did not mention that I will ALWAYS eat the delicious Italian food of the original Bl’Italians, CafeKef and ChampagneOnlyKef.)

So anyway, when a tortellini gratin showed up in our HelloFresh box this week, I was less than thrilled. But, when it was the last recipe left and MrKef got home hungry from another long day of lawyering, I dutifully preheated the oven, despite all my misgivings.

Here’s the thing: this man ate every.last.bite of this damn gratin.  And because it is so incredibly easy to make, I felt like I should eat some torta di umiltà and share the recipe, knowing that I am definitely going to make this again, and again… and again.


Definitely not my picture– thanks to HelloFresh for the recipe and picture! #HelloFreshPics

Tortellini Gratin with Kale for Two


  • 1 small head of Kale, stemmed and shredded
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c milk (2% or whole)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 c pesto
  • 1/4 c panko
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock concentrate
  • 9 oz Tortellini
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 500F (or turn the broiler to high). Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over med-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add shredded kale and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir the milk, stock concentrate, water, and pesto into the garlic/kale until combined. Add the tortellini to the pan (they do not need to be submerged). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes. The sauce will become thick and the tortellini will soften. If your pan is ovensafe, great–proceed to step three. If it’s not (ie: it has a rubber handle), transfer the kale/tortellini mixture into a small baking dish.
  3. While the tortellini cooks, mix together panko, Parmesan, and 2 tsp olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the panko/Parmesan mixture over the tortellini.
  4. Bake in the oven for 1-2 minutes, or until browned and bubbly. Serve warm.

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