Italian Sausage Soup Supper and Pasta Morph
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 small fennel bulbs, fennel fronds removed, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes and their juice
- 1 cup uncooked small pasta such as tubetinni
- 1 (14-ounce) can canellinni beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped Italian parsley leaves
- Coarse ground salt and cracked pepper
- Pasta Morph, recipe follows
- Pasta Morph:
- 1 pound pasta, cooked to al dente, reserve 1 cup cooking water
- Reserved sausage, onion, and fennel mixture
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Remove the sausage from the casing. Place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Turn heat to medium, cook, stirring constantly until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels to remove excess fat. Add onions, fennel, garlic and fennel seeds, toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring every few minutes until fennel and onions begin to soften, about 12 to 15 minutes. At this point remove 1/2 of the mixture and reserve it for the Pasta Morph.
Add chicken broth and tomatoes to the remaining sausage/fennel mixture. Break tomatoes apart with spoon. Bring to a boil, add pasta. Bring back to boil again, reduce to a strong simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until pasta is almost done. Add cannelinni beans and parsley. Cook until flavors have come together and pasta is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.Pasta Morph:
Toss the pasta and reserved sausage mixture in a large bowl. Add heated pasta water, a little at a time, until a sauce consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with bread crumbs and cheese.
Yield: 6 servings
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