Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup

Italian sausage was on sale today so I dragged out this old favorite with every intention of making it for dinner. I quickly learned that I was missing a bunch of ingredients and ate KD instead. Oops?

Time: about an hour to prep and cook
Makes about 10 1-Cup servings.

• 1 lb hot or mild Italian sausage
• 3 medium carrots peeled and chopped
• 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (works with shallots or leeks, too)
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed
• 8 C lowfat or fat free chicken broth
• 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
• 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 T dried basil
• 1 ½ C large shell pasta
• 6 oz spinach leaves, rinsed and slightly chopped (I use bagged baby spinach)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Grated parmesan cheese

1. Squeeze sausages from their casings into a 5-6 qt pan over high heat and stir often, breaking up sausages with a spoon. Cook until brown and crumbly. Spoon out and discard all but 1 T fat from pan.
2. Add carrots, onion and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5-7 mins.
3. Add broth, basil, tomatoes (including juice), and beans and bring to a boil.
4. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is just enter to the bite about 10 mins. Skim and discard any fat.
5. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan.

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