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The Cowgirl's Minestrone

Nothing beats a big bowl of minestrone on a cold winter’s day! The Texan in me feels like spring should be here by now…it is March for goodness sakes, however now after 11 winters here in Kansas, I know that is not the truth. We could still have cold weather and snow up until May! Crazy! 


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lb small rigatoni
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 lb Italian beef sausage recipe below
  • 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Italian Beef Sausage

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper


  • Coat the bottom of a heavy stock pot with four turns of olive oil. Add the sage, rosemary, and thyme and warm the oil over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes to infuse it with the flavor of the herbs. 
  • Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with the side of a big spoon until well browned. 
  • Add the carrots, onion, and celery to the saucepan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, and stock into the pan with the sausages. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water for 6 minutes; it should be slightly underdone. Drain and stir into the simmering soup. Salt and pepper the soup to taste.

Italian Beef Sausage

  • Combine all spices in a bowl with ground beef and mix to combine.