Cheese Tortellini Stew with Sausage

I’m still here. Promise.

Tax season is in full swing, so I’ve been spending 60 hours a week at the office and eating a lot of catered meals. I purposely go out to eat for lunch because a break from the computer is welcome. In other words, I’m not cooking.

I’ve been missing it, though. A lot.

In my lack of free time, we booked our flight to Spain and Portugal. Nearly three weeks there. I couldn’t be happier. It’s coming up quick, too, which makes it even better. There isn’t much worse than booking something so far in advance that it doesn’t even feel like it’s happening. Couple the quick timeline with a super busy work schedule, and I’ll be on that flight soon enough. Any suggestions? We’ve got a loose schedule of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Lisbon, and Porto. Anything else is extra. I’ve definitely learned that I can’t try to bake too much into the trip or I’ll be left exhausted and disappointed. The only things we’re trying to make happen is a ton of wine and a FC Barcelona match. I’m not a huge Barca fan, but I can’t go all that way to not see one of the best teams in the world. I’ve been working on my Español via Duolingo. I’m surprised at how much I remember. Seriously, though, suggestions. I need ’em.

This stew was random and made weeks ago in a fit of lusting after carbs and cheese. That’s normal, right? It all resulted in a famous “let’s throw everything in the pot, and see what happens.” Tortellini are one of those things that I can’t ever see myself making. It seems like way too much effort when there is are perfectly good pre-made ones at the store. Spinach, canned tomatoes, and Italian sausage round out the rest of it. It’s hardly a bad combination. Oh, and garlic and chili flakes. Lots of them, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from me. Shaved pecorino came later. And during. And before. That goes for the wine, too.


  • 8oz frozen tortellini
  • 15oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 10oz frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1lb spicy Italian sausage, sliced [mine was precooked]
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • chili flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
  • pecorino cheese, for serving


Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the oil and wait until it starts to shimmer. Add the sliced sausage to the pan, browning it on a few sides. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Don’t let it burn. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, juice and all. Bring it to a boil and add the vinegar. Add the chopped spinach and tortellini. Bring to a simmer, and stir occasionally. Taste the tomato broth for salt and pepper. Add chili flakes to your heart’s content. The tortellini will be cooked through after about 10 minutes. Serve into bowls, and top with fresh shaved pecorino.

7 thoughts on “Cheese Tortellini Stew with Sausage”

  • Exciting!! When are you going to Spain? I LOVED Lisbon. Great food. I felt like it was a bit dirty, but in a really gorgeous European way. I went in January and the weather was just perfect. I want to know all about your trip!

    • May 1-22. I realize now in all my excitement/lack of sleep I forgot to mention the most important detail. Haha! Just like I also forgot we actually switched the order and are going to Lisbon first and ending in Barcelona. Regardless, I’m really really really really excited. We keep trying new Spanish/Portuguese wines and watching a lot of videos on different things to check out. Priorities!

  • When will you be going on your trip? I just booked tickets from april 19-24 in barcelona and lisbon — I also am dying to go to madrid and porto too but I don’t think I have the time (or money) to have commited to that yet… so excited for your travel there!!! If you get there before I do I want to hear some recommendations – or vice versa I’m assuming?

    • I love that I forgot to mention the dates. May 1-22, so I’ll just miss you! Can’t wait to hear what you think about it all. How are you getting around? Train? Flying? I think once we fly into Lisbon we’re taking trains everywhere. I want to spend more time (and money) there, but it’s just not going to happen. One of the perks of the new job is that all of this overitme is getting me an extra two weeks of vacation on top of the four I already get. If that’s not perfect for getting me out of the States, I don’t know what is.

      • Nice! Ok I’ll try and give you some last-minute tips when I get back from my trip to prep you for yours. 😉 I’ll be flying everywhere– was wanting to take the Lisbon-Porto train, but yeah that didn’t end up working out. I love how you spend all your money + saved up time on travel, that’s the best way to spend it!! Makes all that work worth it. 😀

  • I think this big bowl of sausage and tortellini sounds like the perfect way to get some home-cooked food into your mouth when you’re super-busy! Although you know I would add in a ton of kale. I’m on the Duolingo Spanish-practice train too. For instance, the driver totally reads the newspaper at dawn 🙂

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