Friday, June 20, 2014

Tortellini and Sausage Soup

I love making homemade pasta for my family.  I made these little tortellini's in March for a magazine shoot.  We were sharing ideas for taking our lunches to school or work.  

I shared several kid friendly recipes but I also wanted to have an easy adult recipe.  I make ravioli's all the time and decided to make these cute little "belly-button" filled pastas to add to a broth-based soup. I kind of get tired of eating creamy soups and this was nice to have a soup base that was slurp-able.  Although I don't recommend slurping your soup at work--just sayin'.

I know that filled pasta is tricky for those that eat gluten free.  I have found, at Whole Foods, they carry a gluten free filled pasta in the cheese section.  I have not tried it yet but my friends have and they think it is wonderful.  The texture and flavor are both good.  If you don't have a recipe that you use at home I would suggest this as an alternative for this recipe. 

If you want to make your own gluten free wrappers for the tortellini, here is a recipe you can try.  I am working on my own version of a gluten free pasta to make stuffed raviolis and tortellinis. That recipe will come out next week--so check back.

Making homemade pasta is fun and the filled versions are not hard to master.  Time consuming?  A little bit but if you plan the time then it won't be a problem.  The kids love to help make pasta so this is a fun family friendly activity to do together.

Make the homemade pasta only if you want and desire to experience that part of the soup.  Otherwise use your favorite store bought filled pasta.  Do what fits your schedule and family dynamics.

Tortellini and Sausage Soup

Makes 4-6 servings

2 large sausage links, I use the ones from Whole Foods--usually a spicy variety.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced small
4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup fresh baby spinach 
2 cups uncooked tortellini (fresh or frozen/store bought or homemade)
Salt and pepper,to taste

1/4 cup fresh basil, optional
grated parmesan cheese, optional

1.  In a medium frying pan add olive oil. Turn heat to medium.

2.  Cut sausage links into 1 inch pieces.  Cook in oil until done.

3.  Remove sausage pieces to a paper towel and set aside. Add diced onion and bell pepper to oil (add more oil if needed).  Cook for 3 minutes, add garlic.  Continue cooking for 1 more minute. Be careful to not burn the garlic.

4.  In a medium stock pot, add broth, diced tomatoes and the vegetables from above.  Bring to a boil.

5.  Add tortellini and cook until pasta is cooked through.  Time will vary based on whether you are using fresh or frozen pasta.

6.  When tortellini is done, add sausage pieces and fresh spinach/kale.  Stir and let set for 5 minutes.  The spinach will wilt in the hot broth.  

7.  Serve immediately with grated parmesan cheese or store in air tight containers for up to one week.

This was an image for the lunch article I wrote.  This little cup held about 1 1/2 cups of soup.

Written by Sherron Watson

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