Break out the heart-shaped cookie cutters and show your family the love tonight for a delicious pasta dinner. Kids can join in by cutting heart shapes out of mozzarella and sprinkling the garnishes on top. The recipe for the pink sauce makes more than you will need for this pasta, so save the leftovers for dipping sauce (what kid doesn’t love to dip!), pizza sauce or pasta sauce. This recipe serves six.

Ingredients

For the pink tomato sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 slice of bread, torn for dipping

The ” I Love You So” Tortelloni-os:
1 pound tortelloni or tortellini
1 (8 ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
10 fresh basil leaves

Method:

Pink tomato sauce:
1. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and turn the heat down to medium.

2. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4-6 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

3. Stir the tomatoes and basil into the pot and heat to a gentle bubble.

4. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the half and half and Parmesan.

6. Sprinkle the salt into the sauce, stir and dip pieces of bread into the sauce to taste for seasoning. Adjust as desired.

The “I Love You So” Tortelloni-os:
1. Place a separate large pot of salted water over high heat and cook the tortelloni according to package directions.

2. Drain and set aside.

3. Using a heart cooking cutter, cut hearts out of the mozzarella slices. Reserve the scraps from the mozzarella slices.

4. Using scissors, cut hearts out of each basil leaf and set aside. Reserve the scraps from the basil leaves.

5. Toss the cooked tortelloni with the mozzarella and basil scraps leftover from making the hearts.

6. Transfer the tortelloni to a large platter and dress with about 4 cups of pink sauce.

7. Divide the tortelloni between 6 plates, decorate with the mozzarella and basil hearts and enjoy!

–Kristen Uhrenholdt created this recipe for The Family Dinner blog

We’ve teamed up with the Kids Cook Monday initiative to bring you a weekly recipe that encourages families to set aside the first night of every week for cooking and eating together as a family. Be sure to check out their website for more great ideas on how to empower your kids in the kitchen!