I absolutely love Italy.  Venice, without a doubt, is one of the most magical cities I have ever visited. It's world-famous canals, exquisite architecture and delicious food just lure you into the romance of the city.  It's magnificent.  Even though my trip there has absolutely nothing to do with this recipe, I'll share some photos anyway.  I think they truly capture the beauty and allure of the city.

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On today's What's Cookin' recipe, we were joined by Kelly Bland from the UK Cooperative Extension Office here in Daviess County.  Kelly loves to travel too, by the way.  And while we can't send you to Italy, we can bring a taste of Italy to you.

This recipe is guaranteed to do just that.

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Consider the one pot you cook it in a sort of time travel portal.  Here's how you make a delicious dish starring tortellini.

ONE POT ITALIAN TORTELLINI DINNER

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt added tomato sauce
1 (8-ounce) package fresh sliced mushrooms
4 cups fresh prewashed spinach (remove stems and tear large leaves into pieces)
1 (19-ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini
• 1 cup low-moisture, part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Gently scrub the onion and carrot with a clean vegetable brush under cool running water before preparing them. Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water, being sure to remove any dirt; pat dry.

Heat a large nonstick pot or skillet over medium heat and add ground beef,
onions, and carrots. Cook until ground beef is browned and has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, using a food thermometer.

Drain fat from ground beef mixture. Add garlic, oregano, and Italian seasoning;
stir until combined.

Add the tomato sauce, mushrooms, and spinach. Stir until mixture comes to a boil.

Cover with lid and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Remove lid and gently stir in frozen tortellini. Cover and cook tortellini Following package directions (usually 2 to 5 minutes).

Top with mozzarella cheese and allow to melt before serving and get ready to be transported to Italy!

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The great thing about recipes developed by the UK Cooperative Extension is this. They're designed to be healthy and cost-effective.  The goal is to feed lots of mouths for cheap.  This One Pot Italian Tortellini Dinner makes 8 servings.  The entire cost of the recipe is just $15.81 and that breaks down to just $1.98 per serving.

It's delicious, hearty, cheap and oh so very Italian!

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