Friday, January 28, 2011

Italian Sausage Tortellini Stew

This rich and hearty stew is perfect for this long cold Chicago winter.  I love the combination of the acidic broth, the spicy sausage and the soft creamy tortellini.  Not to mention that it pairs up perfect with the remaining bottle of wine and some crusty bread.  And maybe it's because I am grown now, but to me the more vegetables the better.  I hope your family enjoys this melody of flavors as much as mine does.

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 cup of red wine (you should always cook with the wine that you enjoy to drink, so I used a sweet one-Lambrusco BUT I have also used Cabrenet-which I detest- and loved it)
3 (14 1/2 oz.) cans of undrained diced tomatoes (I used some italian-flavored ones and I have also used my own and )
1 (8 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can of chicken stock
2 carrots (peeled/ sliced)
1 T. sugar
1/3 of a bag (3 oz.) of fresh whole baby spinach leaves
2 small zucchini's (halved lengthwise, then sliced)
1 pkg. frozen cheese tortellini

-Saute' sausage, onion and garlic in a large stockpot with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.  Drain off liquids and begin to brown sausage.  Pour in red wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (that's where all the flavor is!).  Add in tomatoes, sauce, carrots and sugar.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Using a metal spoon, skim off fat.  Remove sausage links onto a plate and thinly slice; return sliced sausage to pot.  Stir in spinach leaves (they will shrink as they cook) and zucchini and tortellini; simmer for 10 minutes more before serving.  Serve with french bread. Serves 6.  Enjoy!

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