Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tortellini with sausage, leeks, and Parmesan cream sauce

Sunday evenings are one of my favorite times to cook, mainly because there is plenty of time to do just about anything.  I haven't worked all day and am not wondering how to throw something together as quickly as possible.  I've mentioned this before, but Zac likes to cook too, so Sunday evening has often become our time to cook something fun together. Tonight we made cheese tortellini with leeks, sausage, and a Parmesan Bechamel sauce.

Quoting Jacques Pepin from his show Essential Pepin (which is great, find it on your local PBS station), "and this is how I did it":

1 - 20 oz package of refrigerated tortellini, flavor of your choice. I used cheese.
1 - 1.25 lb Italian turkey sausage package
2 medium size leeks
Small handful shaved, shredded, or grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup milk (we used fat free)
ground nutmeg
salt (we use Kosher)
ground black pepper


  1. Start a large pot of water to boil. Once it comes to a boil, add a generous amount of salt. 
  2. Slice off the white part and dark green parts of the leeks, you will only use the light green part. Remove the tough outer layer of the leek. Slice the light green part into 1/2 inch rounds, keeping round intact. 
  3. Fill a bowl with water. Place leeks into the bowl of water.  Sand and dirt will drift to the bottom. Scoop leeks off the top and place into the boiling salted water. 
  4. Cook leeks for 5 minutes. When leeks are done, immediately place into an ice bath for approx 15 seconds, drain on paper towels.  Set aside.
  5. Keep water boiling, and add in the tortellini. Cook according to the package directions. 
  6. While the pasta is cooking, cook the sausage.  Remove the sausage from the casings, and pinch sausage off into small bite-size pieces.  Cook in a small amount of olive oil over medium heat until cooked through and brown. I had to drain off some fat, then put back in the pan to brown. 
  7. For the Bechamel sauce:  Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan.  Add in flour and stir constantly until roux cooks for about 30 seconds.  Whisk in milk. Add in just a dash of ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  
  8. Drain the pasta when it's done cooking. Combine the pasta, leeks, sausage, and cream sauce in the pot and stir lightly until sauce covers everything! 

leeks in the bowl of water to rid of dirt and sand


1 comment:

  1. This looks quite delicious, and not too difficult to cook.