Plan Ahead: Prepare the soup ahead, reheat. Pass the garnish.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2½ mild Italian sausage links about ¾ pound, casings removed
¾ pound ground beef
2 teaspoons oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
8 oz. rotini or fusilli pasta
½ cup fresh basil
8 oz. ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups Mozzarella, grated Coarse salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, sautéing until onion is soft. Add sausage and ground beef, breaking the meat into small pieces as you stir. Cook until brown. Pour off extra grease. Add oregano, pepper flakes, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chicken broth and bay leaves. Stir, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 min.
Add the pasta. Cook until pasta is tender, about 12 min. Add basil. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl mix the ricotta, Parmesan, and Mozzarella together. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons cheese
Option: Serve the soup in bowls and pass the garnish so everyone can help themselves.
Serve with: French Baguettes page 242. Variation: May use all Italian sausage or ground beef. Use Penne pasta.
Kids like to serve themselves and stir in the cheese and watch it melt into their bowl of soup. Let’s get them involved early at being chefs. Let them be in on the final preparation of the meal. (This also cools the soup just enough to not burn their mouths.) Enjoy! Thanks, Echo, for this recipe. xo