When we first got here we had been told that Italians eat much later than in the United States. But what we didn’t realize is that restaurants shut down during the middle of the day and don’t even start serving dinner till 6:30 or 7:00…which would be early for them. In the United States most restaurants are serving food all day. It seems most people in Italy don’t start eating dinner till 8 or 9! A co-worker of Jesses said his friend eats dinner at 5 or so and they refer to him as old man. Well, with that said Crosby goes to bed much earlier than that so we’ve only kept him up late a few times and ventured out to eat. We still want to try Italian foods and get immersed in their culture so we’ve been trying to look up some Italian recipes and make them with awesome Italian ingredients at home.
One of the first ones we tried was Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini. We’re not really sure if this is a common dish in Italy but at least we got to use amazing Italian ingredients. The sausage from the local meat market, the produce and herbs from the fruit stand and the tortellini was freshly made at our downstairs bakery. Italy sure knows how to produce fresh amazing tasting food. Of course we can’t forget the most important part of our Italian meals, the abundance of fresh bread. This is also good since Stone has a new habit of eating nothing but bread for lunch at preschool and dinner at home… he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on!
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 4 large tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
- 8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
- Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Skim fat from the soup. Stir in zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.