Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushrooms - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushrooms

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1 tbs Olive oil
1 large Fennel bulb
1 lg Spicy Italian sausage
1 8 oz package Sliced fresh crimini
4 large Garlic cloves
1 tbs Fennel seeds
1/2 cup Heavy whipping cream
1 cup Low salt chicken broth
1 16-oz package Dried tortellini with pesto filling
1 5oz package Baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup Finely grated parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage and mushrooms; saute until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12-15 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute. Stir in cream, then 1 cup of broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain tortellini; return to same pot.

Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach wilts. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if dry. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds, and serve, passing additional cheese.
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