Main Dish Minestrone


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, crumbled
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
Pinch dried thyme
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 cup cooked kidney beans
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and green pepper and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their liquid, chicken stock, cabbage, and herbs. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the macaroni and beans and cook until the macaroni is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


6 to 8 servings

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