Saturday, December 9, 2006

Cheesy Sausage and Tortellini Toss

There was a used book sale at our local library branch and I bought two cookbooks! The first one is Cooking for Today: Better Homes and Gardens PASTA which seems to have lots of yummy but simple pasta recipes. This first one we tried was quick and simple because it calls for pre-cooked sausage. The original recipe suggested just dumping the sausage and broccoli in with the tortellini as it finishes cooking, but I chose to sauté the sausage first to get it browned, just because i feel like that give it more flavor (not really sure if it does). I also am not a big fan of swiss cheese, which the original recipe called for, so I used an italian cheeses blend. This came out pretty well, though I would suggest cutting the sausage and broccoli pieces so that they're about the same size as the tortellini. Also, a little salt and pepper goes a long way.

Cheesy Sausage and Tortellini Toss
from Cooking for Today: Better Homes and Gardens PASTA with mods.
Serves 2

1 1/2 - 2 cups dried tortellini
2 cups broccoli florets (i used frozen)
6 oz. fully cooked smoked Polish sausage, thinly bias-sliced
1/2 TBS butter
1/2 TBS flour
1 teaspoon caraway seed (I didn't have this so I used nutmeg)
1/2 cup milk (add more if the sauce is too thick)
1/2 cup shredded swiss or italian cheeses
1/2 TBS brown mustard

1) In a large pot cook tortellini in salted water, according to package directions, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli (and sausage, if you choose) and return to boiling, about 3 min, or until pasta is tender but slightly firm and broccoli is crisp-tender. Drain, keep warm.
2) Meanwhile, if you are sautéing the sausage instead of boiling, do so in a medium non-stick skillet over med-heat with just a drizzle of olive oil. Cook until sausage is slightly browned. Add to tortellini.
3) In same pan, melt butter. Gradually add flour while stirring until thick and blended. Add caraway or nutmeg and stir. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add cheese and mustard, stirring until cheese melts.
4) Pour sauce over tortellini mixture and toss to coat.

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