Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage

Ingredients

  • 2 Smoked Ham Hocks
  • 3 Yellow onions diced
  • 2 Cups of Leeks diced, rinsed, drained
  • 4 Carrots peeled, diced
  • 8 Stalks of Celery diced
  • 1 pound Crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 pound Hot Italian Sausage (casing removed if using links)
  • 1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage (casing removed if using links)
  • 1 28oz. Can of Diced San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP Tomato Paste
  • 11 Cloves of Garlic minced
  • 3 Qts. Chicken Stock
  • 12 oz. Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) cooked
  • 12 oz. Kidney Beans (or other bean; Cannelini, Borlotti, etc.) cooked
  • 2-3 TSP Fennel Seed
  • 3-4 TBSP Fresh Rosemary chopped fine
  • 3-4 TBSP Fresh Oregano chopped fine
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

*1 Pound Ditalini Pasta cooked al dente

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste

*Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese to taste

Method of Prep

  1. In a large pot, sweat the onions, leeks, carrots and celery with the ham hocks. When these vegetables soften, add the mushrooms and garlic, stir often.
  2. Once the mushrooms have softened, begin to add in the sausage a little bit at a time and stir in. The smaller the sausage is; the better, as it will be more evenly distributed in the soup at the end.
  3. After the sausage, add the tomato paste and fennel and stir to evenly incorporate.
  4. Now add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for no less than 30 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Shortly before serving (15 minutes) add the beans, chick peas, rosemary and half of the oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add some pasta to each bowl of soup (amount based on preference) then drizzle with a good quality olive oil and top with fresh oregano and Parmesan cheese.

Note- The ham hocks are there for flavor, not necessarily to be eaten (unless you’d like to). Also, it is best to separately cook the beans and pasta so that they maintain their texture and don’t overcook. Always keep the pasta separate and heat up with each serving.

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