My husband has a very special relationship with his paternal grandmother. Ever since he was a very young boy he has always been extremely close with Maw Maw. Forrest has a distinct place in his heart for his Maw Maw and rightfully so. She is an amazing woman who has led a very interesting life. Amidst her many talents she has a penchant for writing. Even well into her 80's she continues to enroll in college writing courses to exercise her skill. Over Forrest's lifetime, Maw Maw has penned several hand written letters to him. These letters are among Forrest's most prized possessions. When we were home for Christmas he cleaned out his childhood closet at his parent's home and discarded a ton of unnecessary notes and letters from buddies, high school crushes and grade school girlfriends. But he made sure to hold on to every last note from his Maw Maw. All of them 100% grammatically correct and written in perfect penmanship on unlined stationary without the slightest tilt in the lines. Handwritten letters are so rare these days in the times of email, text messages and social networking. Forrest does not take for granted how lucky he is to have so many personalized archives from someone he loves so dearly.
One of the most recent letters that Forrest received from Maw Maw was last Valentines Day. Maw Maw sent Forrest a goodie bag last February that contained a handwritten letter that offered some marital advice and some items for him to use in the kitchen. One of these items was a bag of heart shaped pasta. I came across the left overs of this pasta last week and was reminded of the special letter that accompanied the pasta. It was the perfect amount to use in this recipe and it was the perfect excuse for Forrest to remember that special letter from his Maw Maw.
Sausage and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 1/2 tsp of olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 8 ounces 50% less fat pork sausage (such as Jimmy Dean)
- 2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup uncooked small shell pasta
- 2 cups bagged baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Add sausage, garlic, pepper, salt and red pepper to pan, and cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
Add broth, tomatoes, and pasta to pan,
and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach
Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.
This soup was very tasty. It was hearty without being heavy and full of flavor. This soup was extremely easy to make and could be whipped up quickly on any cold winter night. I think the entire recipe from start to finish only took about 30 minutes.