When I saw this recipe online, I knew I had to add it to our menu. This soup looked so good and as much as I love lasagna, it's a pain to make so it is restricted only to weekends. I just knew I would enjoy the flavors, with an easier preparation, on a week night.
This soup was great! Leftovers were equally as good.
slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
2 pounds sausage
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound fusilli noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, for sprinkling
In a large 4-quart pot, add the sausage and cook over medium heat, breaking the pieces up with a wooden spoon or spatula while it cooks. After about 3-4 minutes, add the onion. Cook the sausage and onion together, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Drain any excess grease, if desired. Stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, bay leaves and chicken broth. Add the basil.
Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
For the cheese mixture, in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and basil. Set aside.
To serve the soup, add a scoop of cooked pasta noodles to a bowl. Top with a ladle or two of soup and dollop with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately.