Friday, December 3, 2010

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel, and Mushrooms


I am tired of most of my recipes. This happens every now and then. So I've been searching for new ones and I have been having great luck on This recipe was a big hit with my family, which was shocking because I have a few mushroom-haters. But they are surprisingly easy to pick around with the tortellinis and crumbled sausage. Although, while I was preparing this last night it occurred to me that this is not the most affordable meal when you consider the tortellinis (I used the three cheese variety), sausage, fennel, and mushrooms. Especially if you don't have fennel seeds on hand. But I definitely thought it was worth it. We'll be having this again for sure.

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel, and Mushrooms


  • 1 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)
  • Test-Kitchen Tip

    To crush the fennel seeds, enclose the seeds in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag, then pound them with a meat mallet or a small heavy skillet.


  • 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.

Poor Claire didn't get to have any. But she seemed pretty happy with her carrots.


Rebecca S said...

Wow - is Claire going to be a blue-eyed girl? She's beautiful.

~lifedramatic~ said...

That really looks yummy! I've printed it out and hope to make it soon! Love your blog!


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