Italian Sub Stoup and Garlic Toast Floaters
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, plus 1/4 cup for croutons
- 3/4 pound, 3 links, hot or sweet Italian sausage, split and meat removed from casing
- 1/4 pound piece stick pepperoni, diced
- 1 ham steak, diced (about 1/2 to 3/4 pound)
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, quartered and sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 pound gemelli pasta or other short-cut pasta
- 5 cups cubed crusty bread
- 3 large cloves garlic, cracked from skin
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bunches arugula, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
Place a soup pot or deep sided skillet on the stove top and preheat to medium high heat. Add olive oil, 2 turns of the pan and the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage, drain off excess fat if necessary then add the ham and pepperoni. Cook meats together 2 minutes then add peppers and onions and cook 2 or 3 minutes more. Add diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and bring stoup to a boil. Stir in pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Make croutons while pasta cooks.
In a large skillet heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil, 4 turns of the pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add bread to garlic oil, toss and toast the cubes 5 or 6 minutes. Season the toasty cubes with red pepper flakes, oregano and lots of grated cheese.
Stir arugula into soup just before you serve it up. Ladle up the stoup and float several toasty garlic bread cubes in each bowl.