Monday, February 22, 2010

Tonight's Dinner

One of us caught a nasty cold on the flight home from the Dominican Republic on Saturday, so yesterday I made a big pot of chicken soup. Afterwards, the children had the nerve to complain that they were tiring of matzoh balls, so tonight I made this Italian Wedding Soup with the leftover broth to show them that I am no one trick pony when it comes to soup. Here is the recipe:

Italian Wedding Soup
Serves 4 to 6

If you don't have homemade broth, go to Citarella's and buy some of theirs. It is more expensive than canned broth, but tastes so much better.

For the meatballs:
1/2 pound ground chuck or meatloaf mix
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the soup:
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves trimmed away from stems and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
3 ounces ditalini or other small pasta
Ground black pepper

1. Make the meatballs: Combine the ground chuck, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, egg, salt, oregano, nutmeg, and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 1-inch balls.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan ove rmedium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides (you don't have to cook them through). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
3. Make the soup: Discard the fat from the pot. Add the broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the Swiss chard, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the chard is tender, about 7 minutes.
5. Stir in the pasta and meatballs and continue to simmer, covered, until both are cooked, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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