Foodie Friday: Italian Sausage & Tortellini “Stoup”

Even though we’re based in Florida,  I am obsessed with making heavy, comforting, savory meals. Though it is technically a soup, the sausage, cabbage and tortellini makes it heavy enough to ALMOST feel like a stew. Perhaps it’s the start of the new school year and my inner child is yearning for the cooler temperatures (not really…well, maybe a wee bit) but I always start to make this dish in September.

I experimented a lot with this dish because typically I’m not a fan of cabbage but when I omitted it, it lost much of it’s depth. I use sweet Italian sausages because 2 out of three children do not like anything spicy so if you like some heat, bring on the spicy sausage! When I went shopping, I normally look for a very small head of cabbage because I’ll use 1/2 to 3/4 and eliminate the rest. I hate wasting food, but again, I hate cabbage. When I went to the store the other day they only had freakishly large heads…like, 3 1/2 pounds! I couldn’t justify wasting so much food. So I went to the bagged salad area and got a bag of slaw which was the perfect amount. Not gonna lie, I didn’t like the consistency. I want my cabbage to be more coarsely chopped, less fine. It tasted fine. Just wasn’t the same.

Lastly, this goes great with some crusty bread and if you want, some Italian style croutons and/or Parmesan is GREAT on top of it.

This fed a family of 5 with some leftovers.

olive oil


2 box cartons of Beef broth



3 spoonfuls of tomato paste


1 onion diced


2 cloves garlic chopped


1 very small head of cabbage or half of medium. chopped


1 package of Italian sausage


1 bag of frozen cheese tortellini


Salt to taste

croutons, Parmesan and crusty bread (optional)

Brown the sausages in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil on medium heat. Take your time browning all sides so that it partially cooks inside. Take of the pan and reserve to the side.

Next add a splash more olive oil (if needed) and brown your onions and garlic. While this is happening, start cutting your sausages into bite size disks. Add to the pan.

Next empty both cartons of broth and 3 spoonfuls of tomato paste into a large pot. Bring to a light boil. Add cabbage and onion/garlic/sausage mixture. Reduce heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes. Add frozen tortellini and turn off heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

I find that when I cook the tortellini over heat on this dish, it gets mushy quickly and I want it to be firm.

Season to taste.


Foodie Friday-Danni’s Easy 4 Ingredient Pignoli Cookies

One of my earliest memories growing up on Long Island is going to the local bakery with my Pop and our weekly order of Sunday morning pastries and hard seeded rolls. Back then bakeries were the only place where you could get your baked goods. In fact, I remember when supermarkets started adding bakeries to their stores and turning my nose to it. Baking is an art form. At the time, I couldn’t imagine people wanting to skip the experience of entering a wonderland of beautiful baked creations and the aroma of fresh bread. My siblings and I would fight over who got to go with Pop because we all knew the girl behind the counter would sometimes sneak a cookie to small children. Normally it was plain butter cookies but one time I managed to score a Pignoli Cookie.


Pignoli (pine nut) cookies have a perfect balance of a crispy outside and a softer, chewy interior that I’ve long tried to replicate. One of my favorite recipes was from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook which involves A LOT of sugar. Not going to lie, it’s divine but hey, it’s Martha Friggin Stewart! Of course it’s perfection.


Though that recipe is wonderful and worth attempting, I wanted to share a simple 4 ingredient recipe that was quick and equally delicious.  It presents as “special” and I often make it as a dessert for a dinner party because it goes so well with coffee or tea. This recipe only yields about a dozen cookies but you can double it with good results. The egg whites are what makes the cookies spread a little so if you enjoy a crispy thinner cookie go ahead an add the full 2 egg whites. Still delicious!

Preheat oven to 325
Place 2 oven racks in center and towards the top.

Almond paste 8oz carton
1 1/2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 c pignoli nuts

Cut the almond paste into smaller pieces, add sugar and blend well with a hand mixer or food processor. Add egg whites and blend. On a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet place a heaping tablespoon. You can use a bakery bag and star tip but It does not have to look perfect. Carefully cover each mound with pignoli nuts.

I was gathering ingredients for a more complicated recipe. Then thought why not just 4 ingredients!

I was gathering ingredients for a more complicated recipe. Then thought why not just 4 ingredients!

Bake on the center rack for 10 then move to upper shelf for 7 minutes or when tops look golden brown. Allow to thoroughly cool.
Easy enough?
Tell us what you think!