INGREDIENTS FOR THE SOUP:
• 2 tsp. olive oil
• 1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
• 2 large leek
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
• 3 T. tomato paste (add more for even deeper tomato flavor)
• 2 (14.5-oz.) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 c. low-sodium chicken stock
• 8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
• 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
FOR THE CHEESY YUM:
• 8 oz. ricotta
• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
ADDITIONAL CHEESY YUM:
• 2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
INSTRUCTIONS - STOVETOP DIRECTIONS:
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage and brown for 3 minutes, breaking it up into bite-size pieces with a wooden spoon.
Add onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until onion is softened and sausage is browned, about 7 more minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare pasta in a separate saucepan according to package directions, to el dente. Do not over cook. Drain.
In a medium bowl, create the "cheesy yum" by combining the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
To serve, add cooked pasta to individual bowls and ladle soup over the top.
Serve with dollops of cheesy yum and additional shredded mozzarella.