It occurred to me today that we missed a major window of opportunity with Izzy. She has this new thing—when she sees me coming from a distance, she comes up along side me, catches stride and then lunges a few feet ahead in a swan dive/belly up maneuver. How can you not stop to stoop and scratch a belly with that sort of desperation? Another thought—if they have Olympic Belly Rub Relays, Izzy would be the perfect anchor leg.
So, I found this dish an unappetizing concept until I made it, but it is De-Licious. A hearty fall soup with Italian zing. Something about wrinkly noodles in dark broth evokes the primordial…but lasagna in casserole is not particularly fetching at baseline either. Taste knows no shape.
Adapted from Food Network
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (about 10 noodles)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 15 -ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced leaves for topping
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling, optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Ricotta cheese, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain; drizzle with olive oil and toss.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the noodles, basil, parmesan and heavy cream; simmer 2 more minutes.
Divide the soup among bowls. Top with ricotta and sliced basil. Rub your own belly…