2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 cup 1/2 -inch-diced carrots
1 large onion, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 cup stale bread (use coarse, country-style bread), cut in 1/2 -inch cubes
1/2 pound spinach, trimmed, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup ricotta salata, cut in 1/2-inch cubes (feta may be substituted)
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley, optional.
Put oil in a large pot or deep skillet and brown sausage over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When sausage is cooked through and leaving brown bits in pan, add carrots, onion and garlic, and continue to cook until vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add bread to pan and stir for a minute or two; add spinach and continue cooking just until it wilts, a couple of minutes.
Add about 2 cups water and stir to loosen any remaining brown bits from pan. This is more of a stew than a soup, but there should be some broth, so add another cup of water if necessary. When broth is consistency of thin gravy, ladle stew into serving bowls and top with cheese and some freshly chopped parsley if you have it. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings.
Per serving: 208 calories; 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 61 percent calories from fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 22 mg cholesterol; 433 mg sodium; 8 g protein; 7 g fiber.