Are you feeling a bit withdrawn from watching football and munching on some appetizers? Yes, sadly for some, football season is and I think there is only bowling on TV on Sunday afternoons or re-runs of Pirates of the Caribbean, probably some chick flicks and or course, there is always HGTV. Or in my case, I’m probably watching reruns of Law & Order SVU for the umpteenth time! (The DIY Guy always jokes that maybe it will turn out different this time.) Well, even though you might not be munching much on Sunday afternoons, you may have an occasion where you need to bring an appetizer somewhere. That is why I’m sharing this Southwest Cheese Ball. In fact, we did have a place where I needed to bring an appetizer and….
unfortunately I forgot it at home! This past weekend we were invited to some friends cabin about 4 hours away in “up-north” Minnesota. There were 4 couples and we were all bringing food to share. I knew I wanted to bring a salad and a quick appetizer so I whipped up this cheese ball. I wrote down a list of what I needed to put in the car and even checked it off before we left. Then when I went to pull it out on Saturday, it was nowhere to be found – oh well! As you can imagine, we had more than enough food anyway but I was disappointed I forgot. We had a great weekend just hanging out, going to the local bar, playing some pull tabs, shopping and of course – eating! It was nice to get out of town for a bit to break up the winter.
We have been enjoying this cheese ball at home the last couple of days. Hopefully next time, it will make it to its destination!
Southwest Cheese Ball
Easy One Pot Lasagna Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 24 oz. Italian sausage
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 oz. tomato paste
- 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 8 oz. mafalda pasta
- 1/3 cup minced fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz. ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Crumble the sausage and brown for 5 minutes.
- Add onions and saute for 5 minutes then add the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
- Add in the tomato paste mixing it in well. Cook for 3 minutes (the paste will turn a rusty brown color)
- Next add in the tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock. Combine and bring to boil.
- Reduce the heat then simmer mixture for 30 minutes
- Add in basil and season with salt and pepper
- Cook pasta separately (see notes in blog post) while soup is simmering.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and salt and set aside
- When ready to serve, add in the pasta and stir well
- Place in each bowl about 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese
- Ladle soup over top and stir to combine
- Stir and enjoy!