Zuppa Fresco (Primal–Whole30 Compliant with Cheese Omission)

Zuppa Fresca

Growing up, my mom used to make this yummy dish all the time.  I don’t know where she got the recipe or if she made it up (she frequently made stuff up based on what she had in the refrigerator, which is probably where I learned to throw stuff together), but it was delicious and she called it “pasta fresco.”  Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes in a tomato cream sauce served over farfalle.  Seriously, it’s delicious…and of course you go into a carb coma after all that pasta.  I’ve made it for pretty much everyone I’ve ever cooked for and everyone loves it…but no one loves it as much as my husband, JR.

Obviously when we started the primal lifestyle, we gave up pasta.  I *could* make it with gluten-free pasta if I *really* wanted the pasta with it, but honestly, I haven’t found a gluten-free pasta that does taste like…you know…mushy cardboard.  I know JR misses pasta fresco, so I decided to try out a compliant way of having the most tasty part of the dish: the sauce.  Ohhhh the sauce.  It’s like crack.  They way that I made it tonight did contain shredded Parmesan.  If you are doing a Whole30, just don’t include the cheese.  It’s really delicious with the cheese…but just add the cheese after you finish your Whole30!

Zuppa Fresco (Primal: If You are Doing a Whole30, LEAVE OUT the Cheese!)

1 pound Italian sausage, cut in 1/2″ slices and each slice in half

1 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

1 small to medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

Small drizzle olive oil

1-28 to 32 oz can crushed tomatoes

1-14 oz can full-fat coconut milk

2 C chicken broth

1/2 C grated Parmesan

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp basil

1-2 tsp salt (keep tasting to get desired salt amount)

3/4 tsp ground black pepper


1.- In stock pot (or large skillet) over medium-high heat, cook sausage until cooked through.  Remove to paper towel-lined bowl or plate and set aside.

2.- In stock pot over medium-high heat, heat a small drizzle of olive oil (maybe a tsp or so).  Add mushrooms and cook until browned.  Remove to the sausage bowl.

3.- Reduce pot heat to medium and melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter.  When butter is hot, add onions and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add crushed tomatoes, paprika, nutmeg, basil, and chicken broth and heat to simmer.  Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, in a regular blender, or in a food processor.  Blend until smooth.

4.- Put back on the heat and add coconut milk.  Stir a few minutes until heated through and simmering.  Stir in Parmesan, if using.  Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper in increments to desired taste.  Serve immediately, garnished with grated Parmesan (or chopped fresh basil).

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