Tortellini With Italian Sausage

Dinner Favorites

With all the cheese, sausage & heavy cream this is definitely not an everyday meal at our house! But it does taste awesome & I feel no guilt when I occasionally enjoy it. Don’t forget the fennel! Wow, what a difference it makes!

Ingredients

  • Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise (about 3 cups), fronds chopped
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausages, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
  • 1 8-ounce package sliced fresh crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package dried tortellini with pesto filling or fresh tortellini with 3-cheese filling
  • 1 5-ounce package fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)

Directions

  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage, and mushrooms; sauté until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute.
  • Stir in cream, then 1 cup broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.
  • Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended.
  • Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.
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