|2 teaspoons olive oil|
|1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage (bulk or with casings removed)|
|2 onions, finely chopped|
|4 garlic cloves, minced|
|2 teaspoons oregano|
|1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes|
|2 tablespoons tomato paste|
|1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes|
|6 cups chicken broth|
|2 bay leaves|
|8 ounces fusilli pasta|
|1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil|
|8 ounces ricotta|
|1/2 cup grated Parmesan|
|1/4 teaspoon salt|
|Pinch of pepper|
|2 cups shredded mozzarella|
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is no longer pink, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain any excess fat from the pot. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and sauté until the paste turns a rusty brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, and the bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
2. Add the pasta, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil the soup until the pasta is tender to the bite, following the time recommendations on the pasta package. Discard the bay leaves, then stir in the basil. If desired, season with salt and black pepper to taste.
3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, the Parmesan, the 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pinch of pepper. To serve, place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each bowl, sprinkle with some of the mozzarella, and ladle the soup on top. Makes about 13 cups.