Prep 20 mins
Cook 45 mins
This is a copycat version of the Italian Wedding Soup served at Olive Garden on rare occasions. Can be made vegetarian by removing the meatballs and using vegetable stock. Add mushrooms and thin strips of nori for more flavor. Meatballs can be made ahead and frozen until needed.
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef
- 1⁄2 lb ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1⁄4 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup onion, minced
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- olive oil, for frying
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 quarts beef stock, boiling
- 1 lb fresh spinach (washed, stemmed and drained)
- 1⁄2 lb pastina or 1⁄2 lb orzo pasta
- salt, to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- In a mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, nutmeg and 1/4 cup onion. Add the egg and ground meats and blend well with your hands. Shape into little meatballs, about 3/4 inch to one inch in diameter.
- Brown them in a little hot oil until they are well colored on all sides. Drain on a paper towel.
- In the bottom of a large soup kettle or dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the garlic and the onion slowly until they begin to disintegrate. Do not let them brown or burn. You may need to add a tsp of stock as they cook.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir continuously as you make the roux. Stir until the flour turns a light brown. Pour the boiling beef stock into the kettle and bring to a boil, stirring to blend well.
- Add the pasta and the spinach and simmer until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasonings. Return the meatballs to the soup and heat through. Serve hot.