Lasagna Soup

  I think I may have missed my window for this recipe.  Soup was incredible, amazing, wonderful a week and a half ago when there was still a bit of a chill in the air in the evenings.  Right now, with the sun beating down and the AC running and the kiddie pool full of water, soup doesn’t sound quite as nice.
  Keep this recipe though.  Pin it, bookmark it or print it.  You want to try this when it’s soup weather again.
  Here’s what we’re making:
  Here’s what you need:
2 tsp olive oil
1.5 lbs ground Italian sausage
3 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz spiral pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  Start by heating your olive oil in a large pot.  Add your sausage and cook until browned.  Add your onions and cook until softened (about 6 mins).  Next, add your garlic, oregano and red pepper.  Cook for 1 minute and then stir in tomato paste (you guys know I used ketchup, right?) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  Next, stir in your diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce your heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Add your pasta and cook until al dente.  The original recipe notes that you have to be careful not to over cook or let the soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, because the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth.  I actually cooked my noodles separately, but I think next time I’ll try cooking them in the broth.
  While your pasta cooks, prepare your cheese topping. Combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

  Right before serving, stir the basil into the soup and season with salt and pepper.  Or, you know, entirely forget about the basil until you are garnishing and just sprinkle it on top.  Add a pile of shredded mozzarella and then top with your ricotta mixture.
  Everybody in our house loved this.  That isn’t a real surprise based on the popularity of my spinach lasagna, but it’s still always nice to find something new G will eat without fighting us.  The first few bites are a little disconcerting, because the flavor is lasagna through and through, but the texture is stew…but it’s delicious enough you get over it fast.  If you can get past the heat to make it soon, do it!

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