Recipe courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen
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
- 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.
- Stir in broth, water, and tortellini, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until tortellini are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
- 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.