Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Sausage

This is Marie, contributing an article about an easy weekday dinner.

My husband and I have a different opinion about how to handle weekday dinners. When I was single, I was perfectly happy to make the same thing over and over, eat leftovers, and every once in a while make something wildly creative. He would prefer that I provide a little more daily variety, and offers recipes periodically to encourage and inspire. And occasionally, when I have been particularly monotonous, nag.

He sent me to a blog called Carter Family Recipes and I mostly followed their recipe, though I decided the sausage wasn’t nearly enough for 4 and put in a full five-pack. Here is my version:

1 package (19 oz) frozen cheese tortellini
1 can (about 15 oz) tomatoes
2 fully cooked sausages, sliced
1 package (6 oz) baby spinach
4 oz cream cheese
Onion, garlic, and Italian-style herbs

Cook tortellini according to package directions
Meanwhile, brown sausages in a skillet, add water and cover, simmering until cooked through
In larger skillet, brown some onions, and when they are transparent, add the tomatoes, and cook until bubbly.
Slice cooked sausage and add it.
Wilt spinach over the pasta.Stir in cream cheese until melted.
Drain tortellini and stir into the tomato mix

The original recipe is a 1-skillet meal, but I wanted to keep from having quite as much sausage grease in the mix since I was more than doubling the amount. If you use only two, then you could definitely handle this in one skillet. However, I still do recommend cooking the sausages in their skins and slicing them on a cutting board regardless, to drain the excess grease.

If we didn’t have a child in the house who has issues with cow’s milk, this would be made frequently. It is easy, fairly quick, and the ingredients are not at all expensive. If fresh spinach is a pantry staple, this could be on the table to feed surprise guests in less time than it takes for them to finish apologizing for being there at dinner time. And I would bet that it would work well with other vegetables if you need to find a substitute for the spinach.

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