Cheesy Short Rib and Sausage Lasagna Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces dried ditalini or small fusilli pasta
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (About 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-safe stockpot or Dutch oven. Generously season short ribs with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, brown short ribs on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Remove meat and transfer to a platter.
Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking up into little bits, until nearly cooked through, about 6 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic to pan and sauté, stirring periodically, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Return short ribs to pan. Add wine, tomatoes, chicken stock, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Season with about 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven to cook until meat is fork tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Remove from oven and transfer pot to stovetop. Shred short ribs using two forks. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme springs. Return to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until still slightly firm. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, Parmesan, Asiago, mozzarella, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Remove soup from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Spoon into individual bowls, top with a generous dollop of cheese mixture and serve immediately.