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Try sausage and pasta stew for winter comfort food

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Photo:  Candy Koehling

Stews and soups are just synonymous with winter and comfort food. There’s just something about a pot of stew on the stove that says home.

This Italian twist on stew is quick to prepare and just 40 minutes until ready to serve. Stop at Panera (I think I’ve said this before) and buy a loaf of bread and you’ve got a satisfying meal. Whip up a Berry Crumb Tart with a bag of mixed frozen berries and you’ve got a feast!

Sausage and Pasta Stew

1 lb pork sausage
2 T olive oil
1 c small pasta (ditalini or substitute elbow macaroni)
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, shredded
2 t minced garlic
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2) 15 oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
2 cans beef broth
1 t Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
½ t salt
½ t pepper
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Add oil to large stock pot. Add in sausage, onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until sausage is cooked through. Break sausage into small pieces. Add in tomatoes, beans, beef broth, Italian seasoning and bay leaf. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer; cook for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add in pasta and cook 10 minutes longer. Ladle in bowls and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese.

Note: Sometimes cannellini beans can be tricky to find. At Kroger and Jungle Jim’s, there are in the aisle with spaghetti sauce and pastas. In Marsh, they are with the other beans (kidney, pinto) in the vegetable aisle.

Pampered Chef makes a great little gadget called the Mix and Chop for $10.00. I use it to break up ground beef, sausage, cooked potatoes. And you don’t have to wait until someone you know hosts a party – you can now order online.

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