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Friday, September 17, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

You may have notice a few changes around here. First of all, I got a new camera. I dropped the old one on a rock and smashed the screen rendering me unable to see what I was photographing and whether or not it was in focus. Yes, there is a new fall header. The change I have the most anxiety about is ads on my blog. The anxiety comes for many reasons, mainly because I don't really know what this means. Right now it is just a step in what I see as an ever growing body of work. This is definitely the most time consuming "art project" I have ever worked on. I spent a lot of time deciding (nearly a year) on what type of ad network is best for me. Too many required I sign a contract for several years and then I had no control over what they placed or where they placed it. Then one night David pointed out another blog that had the same ad network I was considering and there was an ad for Chicken McNuggets. Then to top it all off someone told me they average about $6.00 a month on that network. I can tell you that is not worth it. Whew, that was a close call. So, I finally found a place that not only lets me choose the companies that place ads, but also lets me choose the ads themselves and where they are placed on the blog. I have decided that I will only display ads for those companies whose products I have actually purchased and am not only happy with, but would purchase again. I'm still not sure the money I will make will be worth having ads cluttering up my blog. I am going to give it a try for a month and see how it goes. Enough about that...
I have had this soup saved in my bookmarks for years. Literally. I absolutely love Italian Wedding soup, but I refused to make it until I could find acini di pepi. I looked everywhere in Fairbanks and found all small pasta, but I had always had it with acini di pepi and I was determined the first time I made it that it would have it. When I went back to Michigan this summer I made a list before I left of things to food items to ship back to Fairbanks. The thing is that I had forgotten that grocery shopping there is just as limited or worse than it is here in Fairbanks. Honestly, I feel a lot better about my choices here. How could I have forgotten this? Luckily, on my list of about 10 items including Mango Powder (yeah right) the only one I was able to find was acini di pepi. The second stroke of luck is that I had a good amount of time to spend in Minneapolis and was able to shop at both Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

Italian Wedding Soup
adapted from Ina Garten and Iowa Girl Eats

For Meatballs
3/4 pound ground turkey or chicken
1/2 pound italian sausage (I used the spicy stuff)
2/3 cup bread crumbs (the original recipe recommends fresh, but I used dry store bought)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch spinach
Salt & pepper
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup acini di pepi or other small pasta

Make Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the meatballs, place the ground turkey, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1/2-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 80 meatballs. They don't have to be perfectly round.) Place on baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.

Make Soup:
Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Sauté onion for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

Add spinach to the pot, stir until spinach is coated with oil. Cover pot, turn to medium-low and allow spinach to wilt. Once wilted season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk eggs and parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside.

When spinach is wilted, add chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Add meatballs and cook for an additional minute, until meatballs are heated through.

Stream egg and cheese mixture into soup and stir gently in a circular motion. Allow egg to cook for an additional minute. Serve.


  1. I really like the idea of baking the meatballs, also of getting the flavor from the sausage, but making them healthier with the ground turkey/chicken. Great ideas, thanks!

  2. We have a saying in Chinese, 'when the old does not leave, the new will not arrive' congrats on your new camera! Thanks for sharing about the ad network, I am not veer savvy about the ad networks out there. I just recently removed ad sense on my blog when I saw some strange ads being published...

  3. Wow - your pictures of the soup look absolutely divine...I'm drooling!


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