- 3-4 slices bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 -8 ounces ground sausage
- 1 onion diced
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water plus more as needed
- 1 28 ounce can tomatoes, crushed fine
- 1 15 ounce can great northern beans, drained
- 1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 3 carrots diced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 handfuls baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 cup ditalini pasta
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse in hot water. Set aside until ready to serve.
In large stock pot over medium-high heat, add bacon and sausage; cook and stir until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onions start to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute.
Pour chicken broth, water, and tomatoes into onion mixture. Bring to a simmer.
Stir in zucchini, both types of beans, red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and 2 teaspoons salt into broth mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook until zucchini is crisp-tender.
Stir in spinach and simmer until softened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Spoon cooked pasta into serving bowls and ladle soup into bowls on top of the pasta. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and Italian parsley for serving.
Notes: You can sub petite diced tomatoes for the crushed tomatoes if you like more chunky tomatoes. Also, the pasta can be added with the zucchini and cooked until tender, but if you have leftovers or cook for a long time it will get soggy and soak up lots of moisture from the soup.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef John on Allrecipes.com