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Spaghetti Soup


Spaghetti Soup is a spin on the classic pasta dish. I like to make it to use up the broken pasta I have around the pantry, so sometimes it could be called Angel Hair or Linguine Soup, I suppose. I also tend to have frozen browned ground beef in my freezer, so I also tend to shorten the cooking time of this soup by using that instead of fresh ground beef.
Add the vegetables you like; I like yellow, orange or red bell peppers more than green ones, but feel free to remove them entirely. Same with the mushrooms and spinach. I have made this with eggplant and zucchini before; use the veggies that you have on hand and like best. The only direction that I have that must be followed is that you must eat this with some lovely garlic bread to sop up the soup! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet italian sausage
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 medium onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
6 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
2 cups of baby spinach
28 ounces tomato puree
12 ounces diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
10 ounces spaghetti, shattered into pieces
2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
Grated Parmigianno Reggiano and Pecorino Romano, to serve

Method:
In a large pot over medium high heat, add the oil to the pan. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the ground beef, sausage, salt and pepper. Cook until the beef has been browned, then remove from the pot and put on a plate. 
Add in the onion, bell pepper and mushroom and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and Italian herbs and cook a further 60 seconds. Add the red wine and cook until it has reduced by half.

Turn the heat to medium low and add the spinach, tomato puree, diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. Remove the lid and add the spaghetti shards and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente. Top with basil and grated cheese. Enjoy with some lovely garlic bread!

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