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1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 cups sweet onion, half inch dice
1 1/2 cups carrots, half inch dice
1/2 cup celery, quarter inch dice
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock or broth
3 cups heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese
1 14.5–ounce can diced tomatoes
3/4 pound dry cheese tortellini
4 ounces baby spinach
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and once hot, add the sausage and break up into bite sized pieces as it browns.
After the sausage browns, about five minutes, remove the sausage to the slow cooker but leave the fat in the pan.
Keep the pan on medium high and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook until slightly browned and almost tender, about 5-8 minutes.
Add a splash of the stock to deglaze the pan then add the pan contents to the slow cooker along with all other ingredients.
Cook 3-4 hours on low until the tortellini is tender.
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