Sicilian Meatball Soup
- SERVINGS: 4
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.
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 5 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 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.
This robust potion calls for a similarly rustic southern red. Look for Corvo, a smooth and satisfying wine from the well-known firm Duca di Salaparuta.