I promised my mom this recipe a while back, only it doesn't really have a recipe, since I sorta made it up
from a soup I had at the Olive Garden one time. When I was making it for dinner tonight I remembered, I never did give my mom the recipe... So here it is, Mom! Enjoy!
1. Brown about half a pound of Italian sausage along with some sliced mushrooms and garlic. (I used chopped up sausage links this time, and I have the stains on my cutting board to prove it.) Drain off the fat. Ew.
2. Add 3ish cups of chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Dump in a bag of dried tortellini and a rinsed can of cannellini beans. Marvel at the fact that it took 2 years to figure out where the cannellini beans are in Meijer. (Answer: the regular ones are in the regular bean aisle, whereas the fancy pants Italian ones are with the fancy pants Italian foods. The ones with the label in English are about 20 cents cheaper. Huh.)
3. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 18 - 20 minutes. During the last few minutes of cooking, add the package of spinach that you forgot to take out of the freezer this morning, so you've been trying to thaw it under hot water while the pasta was cooking. Alternatively, add a couple handfuls of the fresh spinach that is mere days away from turning into a bag of green slime down in the vegetable drawer.
4. For maximum effect, garnish with Parmesan cheese and some pepper. It makes enough for about 4 or 5 people, so that should be plenty for a family with less than 8 kids.
5. Make sure you use up any leftovers within the next day or so, before the tortellini turns into wallpaper paste. Enjoy!