Lasagna has been a part of my family’s Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember and it’s the only time I really ever make it anymore.
This past year I didn’t even make it, my son did (molto squisito).
My mother used to make enough for all of us to enjoy on Christmas, then freeze several more. When the holiday was over, she would send each of the kids home with our own precious pan of the stuff. When my mother past away, my sister took over the tradition, again making extra pans to send home. I loved getting those lasagne … we all did (thank-you Theresa!)
Now, I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t eat enough of it at Christmas (no, that couldn’t be it) or because I didn’t actually make it (just watched), but I’ve been craving lasagna lately. This recipe has all of the components and flavors of my lasagna, but I turned it into a soup, making it easy to prepare and enjoy any time of the year.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausages
- 1 1/2 teaspoons basil
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced Italian-style tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 ounces fusilli pasta or broken lasagna (cooked)
- 2 cups fresh ricotta
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large pot, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove sausage casings chop the meat, add to onions and cook until well browned (about 20 minutes).
- Add basil, fennel seeds, oregano, black pepper and half of the parsley. Give it a good stir.
- Mix in the tomato paste and canned tomatoes, including the juice. Cook a few minutes until tomato paste is well blended.
- Add the chicken stock and bay leaves, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Add cooked pasta.
To prepare the filling:
In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, salt and remaining parsley.
To assemble the soup:
Spoon about 1/4 cup filling in a soup bowl, ladle hot soup over the filling, top with shredded mozzarella. Serve with fresh mozzarella biscuits.
Store leftover soup, filling and shredded mozzarella in separate containers before refrigerating. When ready to enjoy another bowl of this lasagna soup, bring the filling and mozzarella to room temperature, while heating the soup.