Italian Wedding Soup
This rich soup is filled with delicious ingredients; pasta, spinach and flavorful meatballs. With some crusty Italian bread, it can become a meal.
For the meatballs:
2 pounds McLaughlin Farm Sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup fresh country bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 Tablespoons dried parsley leaves
¾ cup Parmesan, plus extra for serving
¼ cup milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1½ cups minced yellow onion
1½ cups diced carrots (4 carrots), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup diced celery (3 stalks), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
15 cups homemade beef stock (See the Beef Stock Recipe listed under Bones)
¾ cups dry white wine
1½ cups small pasta such as ditalini or tubettini
1 Tablespoon dried dill
16 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the meatballs, place the Sweet Italian sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1¼ inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 60 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beef stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan.
Recipe is an adaptation of the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.