Mama MIA!! Right?? Uhm, yea. You’re really going to LOVE this!!! This Meat Lover’s Pizza Pasta Soup knocked our socks off!! I rarely pat myself on the back, almost never – –I’m my worst critic – – but this time…just this once…pat pat pat.
So when creating this “pizza-style” soup, I had to ask myself, “Self? What makes “pizza” taste like pizza?” To me, most importantly and above all – – fennel seed. That’s what they add to sausage, and sometimes even used to be added to the lusciously rich, and thick tomato sauce as well! Garlic, oregano, and basil are also a must to achieve a great pizza flavor! Not to mention – – CHEESE OH GLORIOUS CHEEE!! So when designing this “pizza soup”, I made sure to include all of the flavors that satisfy your pizza cravings, chockfull of goodies, piping hot ladled into a nice mini crock, and topped with fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese that had a quick trip under the broiler, that you can have for lunch, heat up at work or school, or warm your hands around all snuggled and nestled into a warm blanket nest on the couch! I think that you’re going to really enjoy this hearty Meat Lover’s Pizza Pasta Soup that’s loaded with chunks of simple pizza toppings, plus a surprise addition of a little mezzi rigatoni cooked right in the same pot! Sounding pretty darned good? Oh. And did I mention, that it only takes 1 frying pan and 1 pot? (Right? I’m all for EASY cleanup, too!!)
So, let’s make this! I used some hot ‘n spicy sausage brats, sliced open the casings, and cut up the meat to sauté. You could also use any kind of sausages or regular ground sausage that you like for pizza, such as mild or hot Italian. I drained what little grease there was, then added some cooked, peppered bacon that I had on hand, and gave it a toss.
Next, in a medium-sized stock pot, sauté some onion in a little olive oil, then, when it’s a bit soft, add some fresh garlic and pepperoni, and sauté just a little bit longer.
Then add the rest of your ingredients, except the cheese on top, and simmer until the mezzo rigatoni pasta is done!
Get the broiler going, not too high, (*I’m never sure how much direct heat my soup crocks can take), and ladle your soup into oven-proof bowls. Top with more grated parmesan and fresh mozzarella cheese!
Place them on a baking sheet and give them a run under the broiler, just until melted and starting to bubble and brown! Looks freaking awesome, doesn’t it?
Then get ready for one heck of a flavor experience that will warm you from head to toe! Thick and decadently rich sauce, FULL of pizza goodies, and smothered with broiled cheese….OH. YEA. Grab a spoon!!!
This bite is for you!! Open wide!!
So, the next time that you’re in the mood for something “pizza flavored”, why not make a pot of this ridiculously good Meat Lover’s Pizza Pasta Soup!! I promise you… you won’t be disappointed! And your whole family will enjoy bowl after bowl that lasts much longer than a regular ole pizza!! Hope you all enjoy!!
*I kept our soup simple, but you can add any other pizza toppings that you like such as mushrooms, olives, or even some anchovies! Make it how you enjoy it!
**Also, I used Mezzi Rigatoni by Barilla, and that worked out really well. It cooked nicely and held it’s shape well. But you can use any of your own favorite small pastas. (Cooking time is based on what I used, though, so you may need to cook yours a little less or a little longer.)
My Soft Buttery Garlic Breadsticks would go wonderfully with this! Just saying! 😉
- 1 (19 oz.) pkg. Johnsonville Hot 'n Spicy Bratwursts, remove casings
- 4 strips lean thick cut quality bacon, crisp cooked and broken into pieces (*or cut and cooked with the sausage)
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced (or run through a garlic press)
- 25 slices pepperoni, quartered
- 1 cup sliced and oven roasted sweet red or green cubanelle or bell peppers
- 1 (24 oz.) jar Barilla Tuscan Herb Pasta Sauce or your own favorite
- 2 cups chicken bouillon*, (2 cups boiling water mixed with 2 tsp. bouillon)
- 2 cups beef bouillon*, (2 cups boiling water mixed with 2 tsp. bouillon)
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1½ Tbl. basil pesto
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 1 Tbl. fennel seeds
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1½ cups mezzi rigatoni
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- sliced fresh mozzarella, (1/2 - 1 lb.), as you like*** see below
- fresh grated parmesan and chopped fresh parsley or basil to garnish only if desired
- Slice through casings of sausages and remove remove the casings from the bratwursts. Add to frying pan, break up into small chunks, and sauté until done through. Drain grease, break up bacon and stir into sausage, cover and set aside. (*If you don't have any cooked bacon on hand, snip into small pieces and just cook with sausage).
- In small stock pot, add oil and chopped onion, sauté until just tender, then add garlic and pepperoni and sauté 1 minute longer.
- Add rest of ingredients except mozzarella and parmesan.
- Stir ingredients in pot, and heat to low boil/simmering, cover, lower heat until at a low simmer, and cook until pasta is tender, about 18 minutes. (Stir a couple of times especially the bottom so that it doesn't stick or scorch). Stir, cover, and set aside to cool down a little while you preheat the broiler.
- Ladle soup into oven-safe crocks, top with some mozzarella cheese, and low broil until melty. Garnish with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley or basil if you'd like! Serve with garlic bread or bread sticks for dunking. Enjoy!
**Prefer other ingredients such as mushrooms, olives, spinach or anchovies? Go for it! Always make dishes how you enjoy them and add your own favorites!
***A ½ pound pre-sliced fresh mozzarella was plenty enough to top each bowl. But. I happened to have just slightly more. So, to the last bowl, I cubed it, added it to the hot soup ladled into the bowl before topping with the regular amount of cheese and before broiling, and you get that whole "dip the spoon into the bowl, pull it up, and massive gooey stringy cheese trails!" Swoon worthy! But it's a LOT of cheese!!!! So that's up to you.