Toretellini With Italian Sausage, Fennel and Mushrooms

Recipe by Ck2plz

The picture in Bonappeit magazine looked so yummy. I can't wait to make it. *Please note the review from Whatcha got cookin about the fennel. I would reduce the fennel to your liking to avoid the overkill of the fennel.

Top Review by TexasKelly

Although this recipe had a 1 star review, I really wanted to try it because all of the ingredients sound so good. I had never tried fennel before and after reading the previous review I decided to cut back on the amount of fennel in the recipe. My fennel bulb only yielded about 1 1/2 cups of slices anyhow. I also used anise seed instead of fennel seed, and I used less of it. Also, my bag of tortellini was only 12 oz and the recipe called for a 16 oz bag. Had I used a 16 oz bag, I think the ratio of tortellini to the rest of the ingredients would have been too much, so I think the 12 oz was perfect. We REALLY enjoyed this, and I think next time I would probably use the full amount of fennel. Once cooked down, it had a really nice and mild flavor, and mixed in with the sausage, mushrooms & everything else, it just had such a great taste. One issue I had was that when boiling the mixture with the cream & chicken broth- mine never did thicken up. I made a cornstarch slurry which helped, so I would probably keep doing that in the future. Only thing I would change about the recipe is to add some heat- maybe some hot Italian sausage and/or red pepper flakes. This would also taste great as a soup. Thanks for posting the recipe!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, halved through core, thinly sliced lengthwise (about three cups)
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed, sausage coarsely crumbled
  • 1 (8 ounce) packageof sliced fresh cremini mushrooms (baby bella)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, coarsely crushed
  • 12 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth, more if needed
  • 16 ounces pesto filled tortellini, packaged
  • 1 (5 ounce) packageof fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 12 cup finely grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sliced fennel bulb, sausage and mushrooms; saute until sausage is brown and cooked through and fennel is almost tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and fennel seeds; stir 1 minute.
  4. Stir in cream, then one cup of broth; boil until liquid is reduced and very slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Cook tortellini in large pot just until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain and return to pot.
  6. Add sausage mixture to tortellini in pot. Toss over medium heat until blended.
  7. Add spinach.; toss gently until spinach wilts.
  8. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese; add more broth by 1/4 cup cupfuls to moisten if dry.
  9. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with fennel fronds and any additional cheese.
  10. Enjoy.

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