Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pesto Tortellini with Fennel and Sausage

Today is National Tortellini Day! In celebration, I decided to make a bowlful for dinner using ingredients I love. I am going to preface this by saying I did not make my tortellini from scratch. Not today! Sometimes you need a quick, hearty dish that takes less than an hour for you to put together and out on the dining table. This is a perfect recipe for that!

Serves 4-6

1 package tortellini (any kind you want, I used Trader Joe's pesto tortellini)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bulb fennel, sliced thinly
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1/2 lb spicy sausage, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Fennel fronds from bulb for garnishing


  1. In a large pot, boil water. Season the water liberally with salt. When water comes to a boil, add the package of tortellini. Make sure to separate the tortellini if it is stuck together. Stir once after it is all in the water to make sure they do not stick. They are all cooked when they float to the top. Drain and set to the side.
  2. While pasta is cooking, slice the onion, fennel and sausages.
  3. Once tortellini is drained, use the same pot and add the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel.  Season slightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Once slightly browned, add the fennel seeds and sausage. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then, add heavy cream, parmesan, salt and pepper. Reduce sauce slightly until slightly thickened, approximately 10 minutes. 
  5. Put the tortellini back into the pot. With a wooden spoon, gently fold the mixture together so that each tortellini is covered in the creamy sauce. 
  6. Plate a small amount on each plate, making sure there is an equal amount of the fennel-onion mixture and sausage. A full serving is usually 10-12 tortellinis; if you want to serve it as an appetizer, 5-6 tortellinis is sufficient. 
  7. Garnish with grated parmesan and fennel fronds. Serve hot.


  1. What a lovely recipe. I found your blog by chance and having read this post decided to browse through others. I'm so glad I did that. I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Thanks for your support Mary! Please do let me know if you try a recipe. Would love feedback and comments. Be on the lookout in the next few days for my overdue Chinese Lunar new year feast!