There's something comforting and basic about this dish. Its mostly-pantry ingredients, plus sweet turkey sausage and cannellini beans, provide mild flavor, which means this is a soup that young cooks can pull together and will want to dig into. See whether it fits into your weeknight rotation.
Leftovers are better refrigerated, not frozen (to preserve the texture of the pasta). When reheating, you might need to add more broth or tomato juices to coax the mixture back into soupy territory.
Serve with garlic bread.
- 1 pound turkey or chicken sausage, without casings
- 1 medium onion
- 1 or 2 large cloves garlic
- 28 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes, drained
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, such as Kitchen Basics brand
- 8 ounces dried mini-farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
- 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 15 ounces (1 can) no-salt-added cannellini (white kidney) beans, such as Eden brand
- Kosher salt
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)
Pinch pieces of the sausage and place in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage, stirring to break up large clumps, until the exterior is no longer pink (it need not be fully cooked through at this point).
Cut the onion into small dice to yield 1 cup. Mince the garlic (to taste). Coarsely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot; cook for 4 minutes, stirring a few times, until just softened, then add the tomatoes and their juices.
Stir in 2 cups of the water and the 4 cups of broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook for 3 minutes; it will still be firm.
Rinse, then coarsely chop the spinach. Drain and rinse the beans.
Add the remaining 2 cups of water, the spinach and the beans to the pot. Stir, then cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes; the spinach should be tender, the pasta should be al dente and the sausage will be cooked through. Season with salt to taste (keeping in mind that cheese might be added).
Divide among individual wide shallow bowls; sprinkle with the freshly grated cheese, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from "The Old Farmer's Almanac Everyday Recipes," by the editors of "The Old Farmer's Almanac" (Yankee Publishing, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.