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Daddy’s Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce

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Hello All!  And welcome back to Food~Flavor~Fun!

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Ok, on to today’s post.  With another semester coming to a close and the holidays coming, my kids will soon be coming home from college.  We were skyping with my daughter and she put in her request for Daddy’s Tortellini while she’s home.  It’s really easy and very tasty!  I suggest getting some bread sticks and tossing a nice Caesar salad.  A little Cabernet wouldn’t hurt either.  If you really want an Italian evening, make it a Chianti.

Daddy’s Tortellini Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large package of prepared 3 cheese Tortellini (get enough for the crowd in the kitchen)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • pepper or paprika to taste
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts
  • 3 stems of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • several tablespoons of seasoning mix.  I use my own version of Emeril’s BAM

Directions:

Do all the slicing and dicing first.  When you dice the onion and celery, keep the ice the same size for even cooking and presentation.  Put each of the veggies in separate bowls.

Cut the italian sausage into bite-size pieces.  Cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned.  Drain off the fat and set aside keeping warm.

Make the Alfredo sauce.  In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Don’t turn up the heat too high on this.  No scorching the bottom!  When the butter is almost melted, add the cream cheese to melt and blend.  Its easiest to cut the cream cheese into pieces to help it melt and blend faster.

Once the butter and cream cheese are well mixed, add the Parmesan cheese, half and half, garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper or paprika.  Once everything is mixed well and the Parmesan cheese has melted, remove from the heat and set it aside.  It will thicken some as it cools.  Stir it occasionally.

Prepare the tortellini per package instructions.  Usually, salted water with a little olive oil.  Bring it up to boil and add the tortellini.  Boil for about 5-10 minutes.  Drain in a colander well.  You don’t want water to dilute your great sauce!  Toss them back in the pan and pour a little olive oil over them and toss.  This will keep them from sticking together.

Ok, time to have some fun and let everyone choose what they like.  In a small skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil heated to medium-high heat.  Everybody gets onion, celery and bell pepper.  Cook until the onion turns translucent.  Then toss in a handful of what each person wants from the other veggies.  I have a little of everything!  Cook for a minute or 2.  Add a handful of Italian sausage.  Cook until it’s hot.  It’s already cooked, just need to heat it up.  Add a 1/4 cup or so of Alfredo sauce to the pan.  Heat it to a simmer.

To serve, plate some tortellini and pour that great sauce over the top, add a little fresh parmesan cheese over the top and a little BAM.  Repeat the cooking steps to let each person have just what they like with their tortellini.  Enjoy!

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Bye for now!

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