This is the best!! My friend, Laura sent this recipe to me a couple of years ago and it is a fall/winter favorite of ours. My whole family(Brenner included) loves it. Tony, being Sicilian, loves Italian food... This is an easy way to get great, rich flavor and not spend a lot of time! I highly recommend it!! It is a great meal with french bread and salad.
*2 tsp olive oil
*1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage(bulk)
*1 onion chopped
*4 garlic cloves minced
*2 tsp oregano
*1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
*2 Tbsp tomato paste
*1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
*6 cups chicken broth
*2 bay leaves
*8 ounces fusilli pasta (I used rigatoni)
*1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
*8 ounces ricotta cheese
*1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
*pinch of pepper
*2 cups shredded mozzarella
Step 1...In a large pot, over medium heat heat the oil. Add the sausage and break apart into small pieces, cook until no longer pink( 5-7 min). Drain and add onions and saute until soft(about 6 min). Add garlic oregano and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and saute until the paste turns a rusty brown color, about 5 min. Add tomatoes with juice, broth and bay leaves..bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Step 2....Add pasta and increase heat to boil the soup until the pasta is tender. Discard bay leaves, stir in basil...season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 3...In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan and 1/4 tsp salt and pinch of pepper. To serve place 1 1/2 Tbsp of ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle mozzarella on top of that and then ladle the soup on top. I added parm to the top as well and more fresh basil. Enjoy!