It truly does taste like lasagna. And I've heard that after a day in the fridge, the pasta soaks up even more liquid and makes it more of a stew. That sounds good to me too. That just might be my lunch tomorrow.
Here you go:
2 TBSP olive oil
2 1/2 lbs.-ish Italian sausage (I used 1 package Italian sausage, and 1 package Italian seasoned ground turkey breast. worked great. If you want it hotter, use Hot Italian sausage.)
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp. dried oregano
4 TBSP tomato paste
2 (28 oz each) cans diced tomatoes. (I used a 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, and the remainder regular diced tomatoes. If you want it more fire-y, use all fire roasted.)
4 bay leaves
10-12 cups chicken stock (I was going to use 12, and ended up with only 10 and it turned out just great.)
16 oz. pasta (Fusilli or Rotini)
3/4 to 1 cup chopped fresh basil
In large soup pot, heat olive oil. Add sausage and cook until pink is almost gone. Add onion and cook for a few minutes, until they start to get soft. Add garlic and oregano and cook for a minute. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes, stirring the tomato paste to mix in well. At this point, the smell will be out of this world and you may be tempted to stop right there and eat this with a spoon. Keep going, you'll be glad you did.
Add in the tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add pasta and cook just to al dente. Do not overcook this or you'll have all kinds of mush for pasta. Stir in the basil, add salt and pepper if needed.
While the pasta is cooking in the soup, make this cheesey goodness:
1 (16 oz.) tub ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
little salt and pepper
mix to combine well.
To serve, scoop a dollop of the ricotta mixture into a soup bowl. Ladle the hot soup on top of the ricotta, then sprinkle with some mozzarella.
My preference would be to leave the mozzarella off, because it gets kind of glompy in the soup. But everyone else seemed quite smitten with a glomp of cheese in their soup, so to each their own. My daughter has requested this for a birthday meal (and her birthday is over 7 months away). Her review? "This is MUCH better than lasagna! When it's a soup, you don't have to eat a salad with it!" Well...
Anyway, serve it with some hot, buttered French bread and you'll be glad you sat down for a hot meal.
This obviously has nothing to do with Lasagna Soup. But I've been looking at pictures of my babies when they were babies, and it makes me want a baby. Brad told me no, so gazing at pictures will have to do. But can't you just almost physically feel that warm cheek against your neck? And can't you almost physically SMELL that freshly bathed, fuzzy-headed baby??? Okay, I think I'll go stir up some sibling rivalry and see if I can get a good fight going to snap me back to my senses. Or maybe I'll just go write out that check to the orthodontist. Or go check to see how much food is left from my grocery store run today. Or go look at the pile of laundry waiting to be done. Or go set my alarm for the morning and know that I can sleep until it goes off. There. I feel better now.