Anyone else willing fall to actually happen? It’s September. Today’s high is 90 degrees. The boots in my closet are weeping. I moved all the shorts and swim suits out of my dresser yesterday in an act of defiance against this stupid weather. Come on summer, we are so over you. Know when to quit. This is just sad now. Better to leave us while we will miss you a little, right? Isn’t that what they say? Sheesh.
My kitchen is already making the transition to fall. At the Sweeter Thing house, we can’t be told what to do, what to cook, or that our food isn’t seasonally appropriate. We are in full-on soup mode. We had chili a week ago. So there.
Ready to join us in our crusade against stupid nevergonnaendever summer? I’m here to guide you towards freedom.
We have a lasagna dilemna in our house. I love it. He hates it. Ok, hate is a strong word. But he does. Kind of. He doesn’t like layers and layers of cheese, he says it’s too heavy. (Really?!? Too much cheese?!? Who did I marry?!?!)
Anyway, this is the perfect balance. And it takes way less time. I think, I never actually make lasagna so I wouldn’t know. Seems like it would though.
Brown some sausage and sauté some onion in there with it.
Add some garlic, crushed red pepper, and oregano.
Add some tomato paste and let the whole thing simmer for a couple minutes.
Add chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Come on guys, this is just so easy.
Ok, are you ready for what makes this really really amazing? Like lasagna in a soup, for real?
It’s the cheese filling that resembles what you might fill your lasagna with but instead, you place some in the bottom of each bowl before ladling amazing soup over it.
Ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, oregano.
Oh! Noodles! The real reason I set out to make this soup is because I found the most adorable mini lasagna noodles at my favorite Amish bulk foods store in Illinois. I’ve been saving these and crafting a vision of this soup (which perfectly matches one I found online. Because I stole it. Because stalking pinterest boards is what I mean by “crafting”). If you don’t have adorable mini lasagna noodles, either break regular lasagna noodles into small pieces or use rotini or something similar. It really doesn’t matter.
Cook your noodles according to the box instructions. If you’re going to serve immediately and you’re not anticipating leftovers, just toss them into the soup. But if mushy leftovers aren’t your thing (I actually really love the goulash style leftovers this would make but SOMEONE doesn’t like that), leave them separate and add to each individual bowl.
So, to recap: dollop of cheese filling, noodles, soup. Top with mozzarella cheese. I ate these leftovers every day for four days and it made me so happy. So turn the air conditioning on high, grab a sweater, and join me in my happy place (denial. My happy place is denial).
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1-1/2 lbs sausage or Italian sausage
- 3 c. chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 c. chicken stock
- 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta or broken lasagna noodles or something else you love.....
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese for topping
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, 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 and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.
- To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese. Add the noodles if cooked separately.