By Sharon Fox
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 lean Italian sausage
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
5-6 cups chicken stock (start with 5, add more if you want it)
1/2 box spiral pasta (or as much as you like)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Large pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and beef, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. 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. Do not over- cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy mixture. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy mixture in a soup bowl, ladle the hot soup over the cheese and top it all off with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.
Sharon Fox is the author of COMFORT FOOD FOR THE MIND, BODY, AND SOUL and she has a series of eBooks for Kindle.
She's also Food Editor for several online magazines and host of a new TV show based in Atlanta, GA "The
Healthy Living Show".
For more information please visit her website:
This was printed in the October 6, 2013 - October 19, 2013 Edition