recipe follows (i made half the recipe and it is enough for 2 days of dinner for 2 people):
for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the cheesy topping:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
While soup is simmering, cook noodles. I don’t cook noodles in the soup because they absorb all the broth and end up soggy.
Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the pasta is cooking and soup is simmering, prepare the cheesy topping. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy topping in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.