Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rosie Makes Italian Wedding Soup.

The other day, Mr. Hawthorne called me from work to excitedly tell me he'd had a really good soup for lunch and asked would I make it for him. What he'd had was Campbell's Select Harvest Italian Style Wedding soup. Well sure. I can do that. I love it when somebody asks me something specific to make. I was all over that like a monkey on a banana split. I knew Ina had made this some time ago and I figured there would be a recipe for this from Giada, as well. When I went to Food Network to search, there was also one from Rocco Despirito and one from Food Network Kitchens. After looking over all four recipes, I went with Giada's, since it sounded the best, and she is Italian. But, of course, I made my own adjustments. Both Rocco and Giada added the meatballs to the soup and cooked them in the broth. I wavered from this (What do Italians know about Italian Wedding Soup?) since I have a problem with boiling meat. Instead, I baked them first since I like my meat browned, then I added the meatballs to the soup at the last minute.
My mise en place: 
1 onion, grated
 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
 1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
 1 teaspoon salt 
1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, torn into small pieces 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
8 ounces ground beef 
8 ounces ground pork
 salt and pepper, freshly ground
I grated one small onion,
chopped 1/3 cup parsley,
 minced 1 teaspoon garlic,
 and grated 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

First I made my meatballs:
I whisked my egg.
Added in the grated onion.
And grating an onion makes me cry.
Parsley joined the party.
Minced garlic went in.
Fresh white bread crumbs.
Parmesan cheese.
I measured out 6 ounces ground beef.
And 6 ounces ground pork.
I added the ground meat to the mixture.
 And the best way to mix this is by hand.
Then I rolled the meat mixture into small balls. I baked the meatballs in a 350 degree oven,
 turning halfway, for about 30 minutes.
I brought two quarts of my homemade chicken stock
 to a boil and added maybe half a cup of white wine.
Giada's recipe didn't have pasta in it.
 I don't know if that was an oversight on the Food Network website
 or what, since Giada puts pasta in everything.
 (I would venture to say that the crack-smoking monkeys
who run the Food Network website are to blame.)
I added in 1/2 cup of Acini di pepe pasta.
Baby spinach in the back.
 Curly endive in the front.
The endive went in first and I cooked it for about 7 minutes.
Then I added the spinach and cooked for about 1 minute.
Next, I whisked one large egg
 with about 2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
I added my cooked meatballs to the soup,
then drizzled in the egg/Parmesan mixture.
When you add in the egg,
stir gently to form thin strands of wispy egg, for about 1 minute.
And here's my version of Italian Wedding soup.
I garnished it with a bit of Italian parsley.
This was quite tasty. Mr. Hawthorne declared it better than the Campbell's canned version. Gee, thanks. I made this for Mr. Hawthorne Thursday night, but I didn't use all the meatballs in this recipe. I saved over half for something else. You see, I knew Ticky was coming to visit me this weekend. And spaghetti is one of her favorite foods. And you'll just have to wait, sitting on pins and needles, for that post.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

The phrase "crack-smoking monkeys who run the Food Network website" cause a very specific image to come to my mind. And I think it's pretty accurate.

Oh, soup looks good too.