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Agricultural Review

Cooks turn up the heat in the 2006 State Fair cooking contests

RALEIGH - Kathy's Sausage and Tortellini Soup won the N.C. Pork Council Tarheel Pork Challenge at the N.C. State Fair on Thursday. Kathy Shortt of Garner took home the blue ribbon and a $200 cash prize for the recipe.

Lisa Raschke of Raleigh received $150 for the second place recipe, Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Fig and Port Wine Sauce. Spicey Barbeque Pork by Kay Powell of Fuquay-Varina took third place honors and $100.

Pork Loin Stroganoff by Paulette Graham of Raleigh impressed the judges to win honorable mention and receive $50.

Contest rules required at least four ounces of pork per serving and that recipes serve four to six adults. Judging was based on taste appeal, appearance, originality and ease of preparation.

The winning recipe follows:

Kathy's Sausage and Tortellini Soup

  • 1 ounce olive oil or PAM cooking spray
  • 2 packages (19.76 ounces each) of sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 8-ounce cartons of fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 1 9-ounce bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 32-ounce cartons of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce package of fresh Three Cheese Tortellini (in the dairy case)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Spray large stockpot with Pam or coat with olive oil. Remove sausage from casings and heat over medium heat in large stockpot until sausage is crumbled and no longer pink. Once the sausage is cooked completely through, add the sliced mushrooms to the sausage. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms are sautéed. Once mushrooms are cooked, add the entire bag of fresh baby spinach. Stir occasionally until the spinach is sautéed. Add the two cans of diced tomatoes and stir thoroughly. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the package of fresh tortellini and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes until the tortellini are cooked. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

You can also cook the first four ingredients and use it as a sauce for pasta or you can toss everything together except the broth and have a pasta dinner.

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Andrea Ashby, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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