2 Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
8 cups homemade chicken broth or 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium broth
2 cups butternut squash, in small cubes
2 cups tubetti pasta, or another small shape
4 or 5 broccoli rabe stalks, tough stems trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 small red peppers or 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and medium diced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Remove sausage from casings and form into small balls, about 1 inch wide. In a skillet over medium heat, brown sausage balls on all sides until cooked through, for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of the salt. Cook until translucent, for about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and remaining salt to saucepan with onions, heat to a boil and add the squash and pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente and squash is done, for about 10 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and red pepper 1 or 2 minutes before pasta is done.

Add sausage balls; season with the pepper and more salt, if needed. Top soup with the grated cheese.

Makes 4 servings.