Growing up my mother cooked this soup for the family whenever the weather was getting very cold, I just thought I would share it with everyone who would like something new to cook.
Italian Sausage and Pasta Soup
Yield: Makes about 5 1/2 quarts; 10 to 12 servings
• 2 pounds hot or mild Italian sausages
• 3 carrots (12 oz. total), peeled and chopped
• 1 onion (12 oz.), peeled and chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 3 quarts fat-skimmed chicken broth
• 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
• 2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 tablespoon dried basil
• 2 cups dried large shell-shaped pasta
• 4 quarts spinach leaves (about 12 oz.), rinsed
• Salt and pepper
• About 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Squeeze sausages from casings (you can buy it in the ground form at Walmart) into an 8 to10-quart pan over high heat and stir often, breaking them apart with a spoon, until browned and crumbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon out and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan.
2. Add carrots, onion, and garlic; stir often until onion is limp, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans, and basil and bring to a boil.
3. Add pasta, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just tender to bite, about 10 minutes. Skim and discard fat. Stir in spinach and cook just until it is wilted, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Offer parmesan cheese to add to taste.