We make huge pots of this dish during cold weather – there’s not one thing that comforts my soul more than a bowl of this warming, delicious pasta. AND, I especially love dining on this when I get to watch my Hubster make it for our family. You can add the cooked penne pasta directly to the soup, but it tends to soak up all the wonderful juices a little too much, in my experience. I prefer to keep the cooked pasta separate and serve it as a base in the bottom of the serving bowls, with the soup ladled over the top.
½ lb. Italian sausage
, crumbled (or use regular pork sausage and add 1 tsp. Italian seasonings in addition to spices listed below)
½ lb. lean ground beef, crumbled
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried thyme
28 oz. Italian diced tomatoes, undrained
14 oz. can dark kidney beans, undrained
2 cups strong beef broth
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 cup freshly minced parsley (or sub 1 tsp. dried)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
½ lb. penne pasta, cooked according to pkg. directions, drained and reserved
Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
Sauté sausage, ground beef, onion, garlic, oregano, and thyme in heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat until meats are browned and cooked throughout; crumbling with spatula; drain fats.
Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture and cook over medium heat until tomato has turned from bright red in color to a rather dull, brown-ish color. Stir tomatoes and kidney beans with juice, broth, cayenne pepper, and parsley; season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 40-45 minutes, adding more beef broth if needed, until mixture is the consistency of a very thick soup/stew.
To serve, place warm cooked penne pasta into serving bowls, top with the soup; garnish with Parmesan. Serve at once!
Now You’re Cookin’