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Bean Pot Lasagna Soup

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For soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1½ pounds Italian sausage
3 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Celebrating Home #05115 Peppi Pizza dip mix
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken stock
8 ounces mafalda or fusilli pasta
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteFor cheesy yum:
8 ounces ricotta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite-sized pieces and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and Peppi Pizza dip mix. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not overcook 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. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers.

While pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over cheese.

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