Lasagne Soup con Tre Formaggi

The Italian language is so deliciously descriptive. “Con tre formaggi” translates to “with three cheeses.” The cheese medley that tops this soup is incredible. Keep in mind that Lasagne Soup will only be soup for an hour or two. After that, the pasta soaks up enough of the broth for the consistency to become more like a casserole. If you need to make the soup in advance, cook the pasta separately and add it just before serving. p.s. “Lasagne” is the plural of “lasagna” and there is definitely more than one piece of pasta in this recipe.  

1 pound ground beef, cooked (about 3 cups cooked)

3 (14.5-ounce) cans beef broth

1 large onion, chopped OR 3 tablespoons dried onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes

1¼ -1½ cups prepared marinara sauce

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup cabernet sauvignon, optional

8 ounces campanelle (trumpets), mafalda or fusilli pasta

For the three cheese topping:

1 cup cottage cheese OR ricotta cheese

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped fresh Italian parsley OR fresh basil to garnish

Brown ground beef in a large stock pot until cooked through; drain well on paper towels. Discard grease. In the same pot, pour in 3 cans of beef broth and bring to a simmer. Add onion and cook in broth until tender. Add garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes and prepared marinara sauce. Season with oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and black pepper and simmer until heated through. Add wine; if using. Bring mixture to a low boil. Stir in beef and pasta and cook until pasta is al dente; stirring often. While the soup in cooking, make the cheese topping. Place cottage cheese, parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese in a bowl; mix well to combine. Season with black pepper. Cheese mixture will be stiff. To serve, add soup to individual bowls and top with a dollop of the cheese topping. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley. Serves 6 to 8.