Now who doesn't love a big 'ol plate of lasagna but hates to go to all of the work it takes to make it? Well then I have a recipe for you. This soup is quick, easy, and tastes amazing!! Tastes just like you are eating Lasagna with about half the work plus it is great for fall and winter season when soups just warm you right up!!! Eat this with homemade garlic bread and your tastebuds will thank you!! Please forgive my picture I like a lot of noodles in my soup but it really is a soupy soup just depending on how many noodles you add to each protion in the bowl!!
1 lb ground beef
1 lb italian sausage(or just sausage)
2 onions, chopped
5 large carrots chopped(about 2 cups)
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 T. fresh minced garlic
4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1(6 oz) can tomato paste
4 bay leaves
2(28 oz each)cans of fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
12 c. beef broth
4 T. dried basil or 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb cooked pasta(I used campanelle but use whatever you like)
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil or 1 T chopped fresh basil
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
In a large 8 quart pot, add the ground beef and Italian sausage and cook over medium high heat until almost cooked. Drain the grease and then add the carrots, onions, and celery and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the veggies begin to get a little tender. Add the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes; stirring constantly. Add the diced or crushed tomatoes(with juices), bay leaves and beef broth. Add the basil if using dried(if using fresh basil add in the next step).
Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Season the soup with the salt and pepper to taste and the fresh basil(if not using dried)
For the cheese mixture: in a small bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well.
To serve the soup, add a scoop of cooked pasta to a bowl. Top with a ladle or two of the soup and dollop with a generous spoonful of the cheese mixture. Serve immediately with a green salad and garlic bread!!
Note: this makes a lot of soup but we like to have leftovers. This serves 8-10 people. So if you have a small family the recipe can be halved easily!!
Note: we use different pasta everytime. I let my kids take turns choosing the kind they like. So choose whatever you favorite is.
Note:I used 4 (14 oz each)cans of fire roasted tomatoes. I added two cans just as they are and then the other two cans I crushed in my food processor because my kids don't like too many chunky tomatoes in their soup!!