Italian Wedding Soup

adapted from Ina Garten's  Back to Basics Cookbook and Flavors of Four


Meatballs

3/4 pound ground turkey (or chicken)

1/2 pound chicken sausage, casings removed

2/3 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoned

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to top when serving

3 Tbsp milk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper


Soup

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)

3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

2 stalks celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)

10 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup white wine

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup small pasta, tubes such as a small rigatoni

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

12 oz. baby spinach, washed and trimmed


Meatball Preparation

Preheat oven to 350° F.


In a large bowl place the ground turkey, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, the two cheeses, milk, egg, salt and pepper, gently combine with a fork.  Form meatballs that are about 1 to 1 1/4 inch in diameter using two teaspoons or with a scoop.  Place the meatballs on a prepared baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  The meatballs do not need to be perfectly round.  Bake the meatballs for until cooked through and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Set aside.


Soup Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.  Add the chicken stock and the wine and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta to the broth and continue simmering until the pasta is tender. Add the drained and rinsed cannellini beans, the basil and the meatballs.  Simmer for another few minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  Add salt and/or pepper as desired.  Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for another minute or two, until the spinach is wilted.  Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with the remaining shredded parmesan cheese.