1 pound ground turkey, sausage or chuck (or any combination you like, if you use ground beef, do not use anything leaner than 90/10)
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced (You could halve this if you are not a garlic lover)
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar (I will use only 1 Tablespoon if using Chuck or sausage, 2 Tablespoons when using turkey or chicken)
1 (32-ounce) box low sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil (I usually double this amount but it's up to the cook, I use only fresh herbs from my garden, so it's sometimes hard to translate to dried)1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups broken lasagna noodles broken into pieces no smaller than half dollar size is best (Any type of
short/thick noodle would work)
5 ounces of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (not the
stuff in the green can, please, lol)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or if you'd
rather have a bit of a "crust" use slices)
6 ounces of ricotta cheese (optional, see note)
For Garlic Crostini:
1 thin baguette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves smashed garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large Dutch oven, combine Meat, onion and garlic.
Cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat is almost browned and crumbles (No need to cook completely till no longer pink, as it will cook in the soup).
Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Ladle soup into 6-8 ovenproof bowls.
Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.
Add a garlic crostini slice on top.
For the Crostini:
Preheat oven to 350ļF.
Cut bread into 1/4-inch round slices.
Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.
*Note, you can also wrap the garlic cloves in a lightly oiled piece of foil, seal tightly and bake them along with the bread, let cool then "smear" on bread.
You want to break the bulbs apart into a few cloves per foil wrap, to speed up their cooking time.
If you'd rather do them whole, allow for 30-40 minutes depending on size.
Once cooled you can literally squeeze out the garlic, almost like a paste.