October is Italian-American heritage month and we have partnered with Johnsonville to celebrate! At a very early age I learned that family and food is very important. At every family gathering there needs be a spread of food that will make you drool. We create some of the most memorable moments in the kitchen or at the dinner table.
It’s an Ancient Italian Secret!
The food always had secret ingredients that took it to the next level. You also had to add love when cooking, according to my grandmother. If you know any Italians, you know we love our macaroni and Italian sauce (Some say gravy- it’s a northern/southern Italy thing). It doesn’t matter what you call it because what’s important is how you make it.
Every REAL Italian knows that the key to a good sauce is the meat! Your very first step is to pour the oil in your pan and then add your sausage and brown!!! You don’t use hamburger or turkey because it has zero flavor. Johnsonville sausage comes in different flavors (mild, sweet, and hot) so feel free to test with the different tastes and see what your suits you.
Until I was asked to join this campaign, I never really thought about how much we use sausage and how important it is. If we have Sunday dinner with macaroni, there’s always a bowl of sausage links and a bowl of meatballs. When we cook sauce, we cook extra sausage so we can throw together sausage and peppers, a sausage sandwich, or to spice up one of our every day meals.
Johnsonville sent me a custom meal kit with all the ingredients for an Italian meal, including the Johnsonville All Natural Fresh Italian Sweet Ground Sausage.
**disclosure** You already know I’m Italian, I did improvise the recipe because they sent me a can of sauce. If I used the can of sauce my family may have disowned me.
**disclosure** I have never used ground sausage and as I was cooking it, I found it to be a gem! I can’t believe I never bought it this way. I have always used links and cut, chopped, or minced as needed. I’m now a lover of ground sausage!
Where do I start about Johnsonville? It was already a staple in my house so it’s hard to stay on one topic because you can do soooo much with it! Johnsonville sausage has authentic Italian flavor with the perfect blend of fresh herbs and spices. You don’t have to be Italian to cook like a real Italian, just add sausage to kick your meal up a notch.
Ok, let’s talk about the recipe because it was delicious and as I said, it was my first time using ground sausage.
Spinach Cheese Tortellini with Italian Sausage
- 1 pkg (12 oz) Johnsonville Fresh Italian Sweet Ground Sausage
- 1 can (28 oz) Italian crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1 pkg (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs parsley
- In large skillet, heat oil, add ground sausage. Move sausage around so it doesn’t stick and break up as cooking.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes (until fragrant).
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
- Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt. Drop the cheese tortellini into boiling water and cooked until al dente. (approx. 10 minutes)
- Add fresh spinach to sausage pan and toss until integrated and wilted.
- Add tortellini to sausage and spinach pan, mix until ingredients are integrated.
- Plate and top with grated cheese
*Optional – Mushrooms were included in the recipe but I didn’t add them.
Johnsonville is available in trays and party packs which are great when you’re cooking for a lot of people. It’s made with choice cuts of meat and a variety of flavors and spices mixed in. You don’t need a special occasion, you can spice up any weekday meal.
- Johnsonville Flavor Varietals
- Fresh Italian Mild Sausage Links
- Fresh Italian Hot Sausage Links
- Fresh Italian Sweet Sausage Links
- Fresh Italian Four Cheese Sausage Links
- All Natural Fresh Italian Mild Ground Sausage
- All Natural Fresh Italian Hot Ground Sausage
- All Natural Fresh Italian Sweet Ground Sausage
- Chorizo Ground Sausage
How will you
Celebrate Italian-American heritage month with Johnsonville
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville . The opinions and text are all mine.