2 tsp olive oil
1-1/2 Italian sausage
3 c chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 28oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cup chicken stock
8oz mafalda pasta
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For the Cheesy Yum:
8 oz ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces until brown. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, add tomato paste and stir until well mixed. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until all dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. Consider cooking the noodles separately and then adding some to the individual bowls before ladling soup over them. This is an especially smart move if anticipating leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. Combine the ricotta, parmesan, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
To serve, place a dollop of cheesy yum in each bowl, sprinkle some mozzarella on top, add pasta and ladle the hot soup over the top.