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Italian sausage minestrone.

Photo: Marina Oliphant

What better way to improve a traditional minestrone soup than to crumble some coarse pork sausage meat into it?

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Italian pork sausages, skinned
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 1.2 litres water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves or rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100g mixed pasta shapes
  • 400g tinned borlotti beans, rinsed
  • 2 small zucchini, finely sliced
  • sea salt and pepper
  • parmesan and extra virgin olive oil to serve

Method

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and add the celery, leek, carrot and garlic. Fry over gentle heat for 5 minutes. Remove.

Add remaining oil, and pinch the sausage meat into the pan. Break it up with a wooden spoon and fry until browned.

Return the vegies to the pan, and add the tomatoes, stock or water, thyme and bay leaves, and simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain.

Add the pasta, beans, zucchini, sea salt and pepper to the soup, and simmer for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with extra herbs, grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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