The weather has turned cold(er) or I guess more seasonal. So I wanted to try another new soup recipe before it gets warmer. Lasagne is a meal I like to make in Fall and Winter, this soup easily will fit into those seasons as well as Spring. It is a filling meal that goes great with garlic cheddar biscuits.
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (Des Moines locals>>>GRAZIANOS!!)
1 c. chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 small can tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
8 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves (OR Gourmet Garden squeeze Basil)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of the cheese in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.