Does not the Italian translated name for this recipe sound so much better than Tortellini in Broth with Sausage and Spinach? I know I've seen a photograph of an en brodo recipe or have seen it created on a food show because the thoughts of tortellini in a broth was floating around constantly in my brain like sugar plum fairies dancing in there.
Without looking at a recipe the day of my trip to the store I decided I wanted Italian sausage and spinach to be part of the cast along with of course, tortellini and procured those items along with some extra chicken broth which also happened to be on sale making this light, but filling dish right around $11.00 to make.
The day that I was going to make it I searched the internet for recipes just to see if I needed any guidance along the way. I knew I wanted a solid tasting broth and wondered myself how it would be made in traditional Italian fashion. The recipe I read was by none other than the Italian guru himself, Mario Batali. The recipe was one where to make the broth the process was long and involved. I suppose to achieve the level of flavor it was all necessary, but I was not going to get that crazy and complicated.
Here is a really simple version you can make with common ingredients and doesn't take a whole day to create. I caution you to use a low-sodium broth and do not salt until you taste at the very end. When I made this I used regular chicken broth and whether it was that broth during the cooking stage, or the sausage that was store made, my palette felt that it was a little too salty. However, because of a heart attack I have cut way back on my salt intake so it could just be me.
- 1 lb. Italian Sausage (I used sweet) - out of the casings
- 1 - 12 oz. package tri colored tortellini
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 1 - 32 oz. box low sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium sized onion - rough chop
- 2-3 carrots - rough chop
- 2-3 celery stalks or 1 long rib - rough chop
- 1/2 cup scallions - cut on the bias
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- olive oil
- In a 4-6 quart stock pot over medium high heat, add in 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add in chunks of sausage and stir and cook three quarters of the way. Remove from the pan to a waiting bowl.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and add in the celery, onion and carrots. Stir. Add in 1/4 cup of the broth and de-glaze the pan, scrapping up all of the good bits at the bottom. Add in the rest of the broth, cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit covered for 15 more minutes.
- At this point, remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon or spider and toss them.
- Turn the heat up to medium high, add in the sausage, scallions, red pepper flakes, and tortellini and spinach. Stir and cook for five more minutes.
- Taste the broth at this point to see if you need a sprinkling of salt or black pepper perhaps. Serve in bowls and have at it.