Recipe courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen

ATK - Cooking For One
Total time 45 minutes

Why this recipe works

Tortellini might be a quick and easy ­dinner, but we think you deserve more than simply heating them up with some marinara. This hearty soup transforms our favorite pantry-­staple cheesy-filled pasta into a whole new meal without much more work. The process starts and ends in the saucepan: the base of the soup is built by first cooking some sausage and then used the fat to cook the aromatics; once the liquid and ­tortellini are added, it’s just a matter of simmering the pasta to doneness until the soup is ready. A couple of handfuls of spinach, stirred in at the end to ­preserve its color and freshness, adds delicious green goodness to this simple soup.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 6 ounces hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 ounces dried cheese tortellini 3 ounces
  • 3 cups baby spinach


  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until ­shimmering. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in broth, water, and tortellini, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until tortellini are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach 1 handful at a time and let sit off heat until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. (Soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

Kitchen improv – Use What You’ve Got

  • Substitute a small amount of finely chopped pancetta or bacon for the sausage.
  • Any dried short pasta like farfalle or penne would work in place of the tortellini, just be sure to adjust the cooking time ­accordingly.
  • Substitute baby kale for the baby spinach.

Level Up: Garnish with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of oil.

Make it Vegetarian: Omit the sausage and use vegetable broth. Add more pasta to bulk it up.