Creamy Tortellini e Fagioli
This hearty stew is a spin on a classic Italian pasta e fagioli, or “pasta and beans.” Here we swap cheese tortellini in for the pasta and then bulk it up with wilted kale and fennel-y crumbled sausage. The aromatic tomato broth is enhanced with a little cream right before serving, for a soup that will warm you on any chilly night. We like to use curly kale here, but mustard greens or Swiss chard would also be welcome additions. If you’re making this soup in advance, do not add the cream and tortellini until you’re shortly before serving. This way the pasta doesn’t overcook and fall apart when you’re reheating the soup.
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound loose sweet Italian sausage
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes crushed with your hands
- 1½ quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth (6 cups)
- 4 cups stemmed and chopped kale or mustard greens (about 1 small bunch)
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- One 10-ounce package cheese tortellini
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
- In a large pot of Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over moderately-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with your spatula, until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- In the same pot, add the carrots, celery and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Create a well in the vegetables and add the tomato paste. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste turns a deep red, about 1 minute. Combine with the rest of the vegetables. Add the crushed tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the kale, beans, tortellini, cream and the sausage and any juices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens have wilted and the tortellini are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with shaved parmesan, more thyme leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away.
MAKE AHEAD If preparing this soup in advance, do not add the cream or tortellini until right before serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!