Monday, May 2, 2011
Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup)
(Italian Wedding Soup)
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
1 small onion, micro-planed
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, peeled and micro-planed
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil for frying
12 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 pound of escarole, trimmed and cut into 1/2 strips*
1 1/4 cups dried pastina or acini di pepe pasta
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, taste
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the meatball ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into ¾ to 1-inch diameter meatballs. Bring the oil to the ripple stage in a frying and fry meatballs in batches (don't crowd the cooking meatballs) to a rich brown, 3 to 5 minutes (they may still be pink on the inside but that's ok, they'll finish cooking in the soup), add additional olive oil as necessary. As the meatballs cook set them on aside on a paper towel lined dish, you should end up with about 30 meatballs.
2. In a large pot over medium heat bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the carrots, escarole, the oregano, salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the meatballs. Cook the meatballs and carrots until the carrots are softened.
4. Add the pasta and cook until they are al dente, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls or into a large bowl for family service and serve accompanied by freshly grated parmesan cheese and crusty Italian or French bread.
* if you have trouble finding escarole you can substitute spinach or arugula (rocket)