3links mild Italian sausageapproximately 1/2 to 3/4 pound, casings removed
1/2teaspoonsaltor to taste
1tablespoonolive oilor enough to coat bottom of pan
1small bunch kaleI used lacinto kale, stems removed, chopped, rinsed, and drained
1/4teaspooncrushed red pepper
6cupslow sodium chicken broth
128 ounce can Italian style crushed tomatoes in puree
18 to 10 ounce package cheese tortellini
1/2cupshredded Parmesan cheeseplus additional for garnish
Fresh ground pepperto taste
Cook Italian sausage in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until completely crumbled and no pink remains. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked sausage to a double layer of paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
Pour off grease from pan, return to stove, and add olive oil. Add onion, garlic, kale, and crushed red pepper. Cook for two or three minutes, stirring, until onion has softened and kale is slightly wilted. Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Set stove to medium-high and bring mixture just to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and stir in tortellini and cooked sausage. Increase heat and bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until tortellini is tender. Remove cover stir in Parmesan. Taste and season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper, as desired.
Garnish individual servings with additional Parmesan cheese.
To reheat leftovers, thin out to desired consistency with a little water or additional chicken broth before warming in the microwave.