- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus 1/4 cup for croutons
- 3/4 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage (about 3 links), split and meat removed from casing
- 1/4 pound piece stick pepperoni, diced
- 1 ham steak, diced (about 1/2-3/4 pound)
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, quartered and sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes (15 ounces)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 pound gemelli pasta or other short-cut pasta
- 5 cups cubed crusty bread
- 3 large cloves garlic, cracked from skin
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 bunches arugula, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
Place a soup pot or deep-sided skillet on the stove and pre-heat to medium-high heat.
Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, and the sausage. Brown and crumble the sausage, draining off excess fat, if necessary, then add the ham and pepperoni. Cook the meats together for 2 minutes, then add the pepper and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken stock and bring the stoup to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
Make the croutons while the pasta cooks. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of EVOO, four turns of the pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bread to the garlic oil, toss and toast the cubes for 5-6 minutes. Season the toasty cubes with red pepper flakes, oregano and lots of grated cheese.
Stir the arugula into the soup just before you serve it up. Ladle up the stoup and float several toasty garlic bread cubes in each bowl.