I know that spring is not officially until next week, but with these past four days filled with cold temperatures, wind, and incessant rain, it is not a sign of spring to come–it’s a sign that winter is still here. We even had snow Tuesday morning, which is really uncommon in the Pacific Northwest in March. I have been standing next to various heaters in our house and using electric blankets to stay warm. For whatever reason, I just can’t keep the house warm enough. So my last resort was to make some comforting, warm-to-the-bones soup. My 20-month-old son even ate it; that is, only when I could get him away from his trucks.
This particular soup has lots of meat in it, (which my husband loves), and just the right amount of tomatoes and pasta. It is the perfect soup for a spring-is-almost-here day. And, if by chance you happen to have leftovers, it is almost better the second day. Almost. Enjoy! xoxo
P.S. I know in the picture it looks like there is no pasta, but trust me, it’s there. To serve the soup, you put pasta in the bowl first, and then the other yummy goodness goes on top. I should have mixed it a little bit to show you. Also, the original recipe has a cheese topping with ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese, but Eric and I only like ricotta cheese if it’s baked or melted, so we omit it and add grated cheese instead.
2 t olive oil
1 ½ lbs Italian sausage (sweet or spicy)
1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t dried oregano
2 T dried basil
¼- ½ t red pepper flakes
6-oz can tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
6 c chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ – ¾ lb fusilli noodles, cooked and drained
grated cheese—parmesan or mozzarella
1 T fresh basil, for sprinkling
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the sausage and brown, breaking up pieces as needed. After 3-4 minutes, add the onion. Continue to stir occasionally, until the onions are soft and the sausage if fully cooked. Drain. Return to pot and add the garlic, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes (add enough for desired hotness), and tomato paste, cooking 2-3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
During the last 10 minutes, cook pasta according to package directions. If you like a little more pasta in the soup, use ¾ pound. Drain.
To serve, scoop a generous helping of pasta noodles, then top with the soup mixture. Grate cheese on top and sprinkle with basil. Serve immediately.
Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Baked Bree