WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

A Spoonful of Luxe recipe: Roasted Carrot, Turkey Sausage and Spinach Tortellini with a Gruyere Cream Sauce

Posted March 24, 2014

Diana Kostigen, a local food blogger and Smart Shopper reader, brings us a new weekly recipe including ingredients that are on sale that week!  This week she is sharing her fabulous recipe for Roasted Carrot, Turkey Sausage and Spinach Tortellini with a Gruyere Cream Sauce!

Diana has been cooking professionally for many years and she has already shared multiple recipes here on the blog in the What's for Dinner posts.  Her website, A Spoonful of Luxe, includes many more recipes.  My thanks to Diana for her willingness to share her gift. My family will most certainly benefit from her creative and fun approach to cooking!

Roasted Carrot, Smoked Sausage and Spinach Tortellini with a Gruyere Cream Sauce

One of my favorite things about time spent in the kitchen is experimenting with common ingredients in different ways… especially taking an ordinary dish and turning it into something extraordinary.

Take the carrot. An often overlooked vegetable, typically found as filler on a relish tray. But there are so many other ways to use the cost-effective carrot. Shred your peeled carrots on a cheese grater, and use in place of the cheese in tacos. You’ll still get all the color, with more freshness and nutrients, but far less calories and fat. And don’t forget about your potato peeler. Long peels of carrots add texture and sweetness to tuna fish and egg salad sandwiches, not to mention a bit of crunch.

And how about roasting carrots… and I don’t mean alongside your potatoes and that same old pot roast your Mother, and your Grandmother made. But, cut up in coins, drizzled with olive oil, fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, and lightly salted.

So this week, I gave roasting a try, and when I read through the list of ingredients on sale, including tortellini, I decided on a pasta dish. Talk about extraordinary. The saltiness from the sausage, the sweet from the carrots, the nice texture and color from the spinach, and the creaminess from the gruyere cream sauce complimented each other perfectly, for one of my favorite pasta dishes yet.

Think Gruyere cheese is a budget-breaker? You can use Swiss cheese instead, but it won’t add the same richness or flavor. Instead, why not take advantage of store sales on specialty cheeses (this week through 3/25, Harris Teeter has all specialty cheeses 20% off, even those that are already on sale). I was able to get a nice size chunk for under $4. And since a little goes a long way with Gruyere, this chunk will last me months and will be used in many dishes including pasta, egg dishes and gratins.

And remember, if you don’t have cream on hand, evaporated milk is a good (and even more cost-effective) substitution.

Roasted Carrot, Turkey Sausage and Spinach Tortellini with a Gruyere Cream Sauce

1 package smoked sausage, cut into coins
5-6 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 onion, cut into half moons
¼ stick of butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup cream
1/3 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 cups spinach
1 package refrigerated tortellini, which has been cooked and drained
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Seasonings as desired (I used a pinch each of Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning and Penzeys Mural of Flavor)

Place the cut up carrots, sausage and onion on a greased rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes until lightly browned and caramelized.

While those are roasting, cook and drain the pasta. Then make the sauce. Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When melted add in flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Then add in the cream, lemon juice, gruyere cheese, salt and pepper and desired seasonings (see above). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly.

To the cream mixture, add the cooked tortellini and the roasted vegetables and sausage. Then add in the spinach to wilt and finally check for seasonings and add more salt or pepper if needed.

Serves 4
*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.






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  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Mar 24, 2014

    jdouglas13 - I have never actually bought pre-shredded carrots. They sound expensive at $1.49/lb. I just shredded what I wanted for my salad today from a whole carrot using a peeler and then ate the rest of the whole carrot. It was way too healthy, lol

  • jdouglas13 Mar 24, 2014

    Food Lion often has their shredded carrots on sale for quite a bit less than everyone else. Somewhere around $1.49.

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Mar 24, 2014

    Faye- fantastic!!! I'm so glad you tried it. And lol! You two will be the first ones I call :-)

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Mar 24, 2014

    RaleighFoodBlogger - I used your idea for shredded carrots in my tuna salad for lunch and it was delicious. It added a nice amount of crunch and additional nutrition to it. Thanks!

    And I am with carelesswhisper - happy to help with all those leftovers! lol

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Mar 24, 2014

    watchhillgirl- thank you! Hope you enjoy it :-)

    Faye- thanks... and I love the new every day low price for carrots, too. They're a staple in our house now!

    jdouglas- I've never seen shredded gruyere- that is awesome! And I say go for the Italian pork sausage. You could even switch out the spinach for broccoli rabe or kale in that case. I've made variations of this in the past with shredded chicken and even turkey meatballs, in the past. It's a nice base to add whatever you have on hand. Enjoy!!

    Carelesswhisper- Thank you so much, and I will keep that in mind! :-) :-)

  • carelesswhisper Mar 24, 2014

    RFB, anytime you have leftovers that you don't want I'd be willing to take them off your hands. All of your dishes look so good!

  • carelesswhisper Mar 24, 2014

    Now this does look good!

  • jdouglas13 Mar 24, 2014

    Sounds delicious, RFB! Will definitely have to try it. There is an HT Traders shredded gruyere that is sometimes included in the B2G3 sales. I have a few stashed in the freezer for a potato gratin that I keep meaning to make. It might work well for this, too.

    Do you think Italian pork sausage would work in this recipe?

  • Faye Prosser -WRAL Smart Shopper Mar 24, 2014

    watchhillgirl - I totally agree! I love all of the ingredients she used and carrots are only .97 for a 2 lb bag every day at HT now. They just lowered the price.

  • watchhillgirl Mar 24, 2014

    this looks so good! This is going on the menu this week!!! Yumm!!!