Monday, January 19, 2009

Sicilian Meatball Soup


Flavored with Parmesan and garlic and studded with raisins, scrumptious Sicilian meatballs turn vegetable soup into a tempting meal. If the soup waits, the pasta may absorb much of the liquid; just add water or more stock.


INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound ground beef
5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup small pasta shells or other small macaroni

In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, the Parmesan, raisins, bread crumbs, egg, half of the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper until thoroughly combined. Shape the mixture into 24 meatballs.

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and the remaining garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, rosemary, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the remaining tablespoon parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the pasta to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the meatballs and simmer gently until the meatballs and pasta are done, about 5 minutes longer. Serve with additional Parmesan.

5 comments:

Bret said...

Nothing like a hearty soup in this weather! Looks darn good 'though I'll probably omit the raisins

Bret

Il Marmocchio said...

If you finely grind the nuts and raisins together in a food processor, you're in for a real taste treat. You'll never know the raisins are there.

bret said...

did you mean bread crumbs?

bret said...

did you mean bread crumbs?

Il Marmocchio said...

Bret - the bread crumbs are a given. They are in the meatballs. Sorry for the confusion. Sometimes my typing gets ahead of my ideas. What I left out of the recipe was the pine nuts (an option)See the recipe for Northern Italian Meatballs further on down in the blog. The raisins and pine nuts can be food processed (or added whole), then added to the ground beef along with the other ingredients