Sunday, April 3, 2016


I would love to tell you salad season is officially here and Spring is in full regalia, but the truth is it is not.  Yesterday it snowed sideways due to the wind and left a dusting of snow behind.  For that reason, we are still enjoying soup like this one.  If you like the flavor of lasagna, you will like this soup.  The tomato, basil, garlic, and pepper flakes make this a yummy and savory treat.  You will probably find it is a meal in itself.  If you want more, a nice crisp salad or crusty bread would be just the thing.  Enjoy!


1-1/2 lbs Italian sausage
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 1/2 large onions)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz petite-diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz fusilli pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I didn’t add any salt because the sausage, tomatoes, broth and cheese were salty enough )
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Saut√© meat in a large pot over medium-high heat until browned, about five minutes. Adding oil to the pan wasn’t necessary because the sausage gives off enough fat on its own.
2. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook until the onions have softened, about five minutes.
3. Stir in the dried oregano, crushed red pepper and the tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste until it has browned slightly and evenly coated the meat and onions, 3-4 minutes.
4. Add in the diced tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken broth, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes.
5. Crank the heat back up to medium-high and bring to a boil before adding the pasta. Cook until al dente according to the package directions (probably 8-10 minutes).
6. While the pasta is cooking, mix the ricotta, parmesan and pepper together in a little bowl.
7. Once the pasta is al dente, spoon a little of the ricotta mixture in each serving bowl, then ladle the soup over. Sprinkle with chopped basil and the shredded mozzarella.
*Note: if you’re not eating all of the soup right away, you might want to cook the pasta separately and add it to each bowl when you serve it so the noodles don’t soak up too much of the broth. Pasta will keep absorbing liquid as long as it’s available, so you’ll find that the leftovers the next day will have turned into more pasta than soup.
Serves 6-8 as a main dish.

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