Friday, September 9, 2016

One Pot Tortellini with Sausage and Spinach in a Tomato Basil Sauce


Do you ever get a craving for something that you think is strange?

Well I do.  Every now and then I crave marinara sauce, or meat sauce.  Any red Italian sauce actually.  I know, I think it's strange too.  It's not the pasta that I'm craving (although who doesn't crave pasta!) but it's actually the sauce.  I know this because I can have a delicious chicken Parmesan dripping with marinara and be perfectly satisfied without any pasta.

So this 'red sauce' craving hit me big time over the long holiday weekend.  I mean I was rooting through my food on hand looking for anything I could make that a red sauce would go on.  I only had 1 can of diced tomatoes on hand!  How could that be???  I'm always stocked, but not on the day the craving hit.  Figures....but I did find a jar of a yummy tomato basil sauce in a jar that I had hidden away.  So it hit me that will make a variation of a one pot dish that I love, Ravioli Florentine which is a family favorite. 

Oh boy, no ravioli to be found in the frig or the freezer, but I did find some tortellini.  Bingo!  Substitution time, and with a few alterations on the original dish I came up with a winner!

Adding a nice Italian turkey sausage to the sauce gave it some body and wonderful spicy flavor.  The flavors of fresh basil add a fresh taste that jazzes it up.  Just look at this meaty sauce! 

All in one pot.  Don't you love that?  Plus the clean up is a breeze and I hate doing dishes!  This would work great as a weeknight meal as it can be done in 30 minutes.  So the result is we both loved it, and it satisfied my craving...until next time.


One Pot Tortellini with Sausage and Spinach in a Tomato Basil Sauce

serves 4
    2 Tbsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 lb turkey Italian sausage, casings removed (about 3 links)
    1/2 (24 oz) jar tomato basil sauce
    1 (14.5 oz) can finely diced tomatoes
    1/4 cup water
    1 tsp Italian seasoning
    1 (9 oz) pkg refrigerated cheese tortellini
    2 cups packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
    salt & pepper to taste 
    2 Tbsp basil, chopped

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds then add sausage using a wooden spoon to break it into pieces as it browns.  Cook until it is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.  

    Add in tomato basil sauce, tomatoes, water, and seasoning and bring to a simmer. Add tortellini making sure they are covered in the sauce.  Cook on medium low about 10 minutes until pasta is tender.  Stir occasionally.  Add spinach and season with black pepper and salt if needed.   Cook several minutes until spinach has wilted.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped basil.  

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