ricottaor another soft cheese and parmesan shavings, to serve
Cook meat and vegetables: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and sausages and cook until browned, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain if desired. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery to meats in the pot. Sauté for a few minutes, then stir in tomato paste and Italian herbs.
Cook soup: Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and 6 cups beef broth to the pot. Stir well, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until vegetables are softening; about 15 minutes.
Add pasta: Add uncooked pasta to soup, along 1 more cup beef broth (add more as needed to thin soup to desired consistency once pasta is done). Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until pasta is done. Check for salt & pepper, then serve immediately with a dollop of ricotta and some parmesan cheese.
Meat: Feel free to use all sausage, or all ground beef. For a leaner version, choose ground turkey.
Make it meatless: Leave out the meat, and instead stir in 1 can of rained and rinsed lentils along with the pasta. If you don’t like lentils, try adding 8-oz very finely chopped mushrooms with the vegetables.
Beef broth: Chicken or vegetable broth are good substitutes if you’re out of beef broth.
Pasta: I like to use a pasta type Calle “Mafalde Corte”, they have those wriggly edges that make them look like lasagna noodles. It cooks faster and is easier for the kids to eat. Plus… No pasta breaking to be done, for the extra-lazy among us 😉 Feel free to use any short pasta shape you have on hand, just make sure you check the cooking time on the package and adjust accordingly.
Make sure to brown the meats properly for maximum flavor. Do not be afraid to add a little color, that’s how the soup turns out best!
Equally, make sure to sauté the vegetables until they’re softened. That way, they taste best in the soup.
Feel free to add more or less broth, depending on if you like your soups very brothy or more like a stew. Just be careful, if you add very little broth, it turns into a skillet lasagna.
Feel free to serve your soup with whatever soft cheese you enjoy – ricotta, goat’s cheese, even just a spoonful of whipped cream cheese is nice. Parmesan shavings are a must for us, but the fresh parsley is usually reserve for photos only 😉