Tortellini with Sausage, Fennel, and Mushrooms

By the time this recipe posts, I'll probably be wide-awake and getting ready to depart for Blogher Food. I'll probably be running around my house trying to blow-dry my hair...

By the time this recipe posts, I’ll probably be wide-awake and getting ready to depart for Blogher Food. I’ll probably be running around my house trying to blow-dry my hair and pack my carry-on at the same time. I’ll probably worry incessantly about forgetting something only to realize on the way to the airport I’ve forgotten something. I’ll probably panic at the security check-point that my camera will be destroyed in the x-ray machine, despite the fact that it’s not film. I’ll probably get felt up by a TSA agent. I’ll probably get stuck by a baby or a massive human being on the flight. 

And if I survive all that, I’ll get to finally meet my friends and partners in crime from The Kitchen Generation. Hopefully I’ll get to meet a lot of wonderful people who I’ve only tweeted, commented, skyped, and facebooked with. Hopefully I’ll learn something to share with you all. 

Hopefully I’ll stop rambling. 

Hopefully you’ll like this recipe.

P.S. – if you want the lowdown on what’s going on at Blogher Food, follow me on twitter

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Deeply savory with a hint of sharp sweetness from the fennel.   
Texture: The chunks of sausage and mushroom are substantial and meaty while the pasta is tender and rich. The fennel is soft and the entire dish is quite creamy.   
Ease: Simple enough for a weeknight meal.
Appearance: Rustic. 
Pros: Easy enough, incorporates a few different vegetables.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Yes, but I think I might use wine instead of broth next time. 

Tortellini with Sausage, Fennel, and Mushrooms
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Bon Appetit December 2010

  • 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 baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup 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 
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. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve.

6 Responses to “Tortellini with Sausage, Fennel, and Mushrooms”

  1. #
    chefpandita — May 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Hey Tessa, this looks delicious! Have fun at BlogHerFood, following you on Twitter now!
    ps. You are so pretty 🙂

  2. #
    Tracey — May 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Oh yum, this looks so good! We're not big fennel fans but I might still give it a try 🙂

    Have fun at Blogher!! Can't wait to hear about it.

  3. #
    Nikita — May 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Looks tasty! Enjoy your trip and I'm sure if you pack anything close to how you cook you'll be good to go!

  4. #
    Mushrooms Canada — May 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Oh wow that looks delicious! I love tortellini! I bet adding the wine with some broth would kick it up a notch!
    – Brittany

  5. #
    Maris — May 23, 2011 at 10:14 am

    By now weekend is over and I hope you had an amazing time! This tortellini dish looks outrageous!

  6. #
    Mary C. — May 18, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Made this last night. DELICIOUS!

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