…from the Perspectives’ Kitchen
How you doin’? This is a great soup that can even be made vegetarian with just a few substitutions… and the best part is that it is still rich and delicious (see ChefSecret). It is fast to prepare in your trusty Instant Pot.
As in many cases relating to the history of foods the origin of tortellini is disputed. Both Bologna and Modena, cities in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region, claim to be the birthplace. The first recipe I found for "torteletti" appears in 1570 from Bartolomeo Scappi. Vincenzo Tanara's writings in the mid-17th century may be responsible for the pasta's renaming to tortellini. In the 1800s, legends sprang up to explain the recipe's origins, offering a compromise. Castelfranco Emilia, located between Bologna and Modena, is featured in one legend in which Venus stays at an inn. Overcome by her beauty, the innkeeper spies on her through a keyhole, through which he can only see her navel. He is inspired to create a pasta in this shape.
This legend would be at the origin of the term ombelico di Venere (Venus' navel), occasionally used to describe tortellini. In honor of this legend, an annual festival is held in Castelfranco Emilia. Another legend suggests that the shape comes from Modena's architecture, which resembles a turtle.
No matter the history or which story you believe, my Instant Pot Creamy Tortellini Soup is very delicious! Make it a little spicey with Italian sausage… or without.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes, plus pressure build-up and release
Natural Release: 5 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
For the basic soup
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
4 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
Added after pressure cooking
8 to 10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini (you can also use refrigerated ravioli)
1 cup loosely-packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the garnish
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (flat parsley)
1/2 cup ground Parmesan cheese
To make the stock
ChefSecret: To make this soup vegetarian, skip the sausage, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, use a veggie-filled tortellini and use almond milk instead of cream.
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