My Italian wedding soup recipe or minestra maritata is an age old tradition and not something served at Italian weddings. The wedding of flavors is how this magical Italian pasta soup got it’s name.
This is a recipe I’m going to go into a lot detail for because it is one that was directly handed down to me by my Father and one that we made together. That time holds such found memories for me and every time I make it I can’t help but feel close to him again. But that is what good food and family is all about. A mixing pot of goodness put together in a way that makes it taste like love.
I begin with making a prosciutto bone stock. I know it’s not mainstream and it might be difficult to actually find a prosciutto bone but if you can make the effort, no matter how difficult, it’s more than worth it. Talk to your local deli, look online, email prosciutto de parma if you must. But get that darn bone!
For the meatballs:
For the broth and soup:
I made the meatballs first. Mix all the ingredients into a medium sized bowl by mashing them together with your hands.
Once the meatballs ingredients are mixed together take small portions and roll them into little bite sized balls and set them onto a baking sheet or large plate.
I cooked the meatballs in a large skillet in batches so I was able to roll the meatballs around and get them evenly cooked. Then set the cooked meatballs into a bowl and went on to the next batch until complete and set aside.
Now it’s time to cook the rest of your Italian wedding soup ingredients!
I wiped out the large skillet I used to cook the meatballs and added a little olive oil and before you heat the pan toss in the carrots, celery, onions and garlic if you choose to use it. Now begin to yea the pan. Sauté the vegetables until firm but slightly tender. They will cook more in the soup in the final steps.
In a large pot add your prosciutto bone stock, the sautéed veggies, the meatballs, the homemade tomato paste and if you’re feeling a little adventurous and you have a chunk or parmigiano rind laying around, toss that in there too! Bring to a rolling boil, lower heat and simmer for about forty five minutes to one hour.
Now is a really good time to boil some water, add salt and when the pot is at a rapid boil, add your ancini de pepe. Reason? Never add pasta to a soup until you are ready to serve it. Especially for an Italian wedding soup recipe because ancini de pepe is such a tiny pasta type. So when the ancini de pepe is finished cooking al dente, drain it, drizzle with olive oil, stir it to blend the olive oil and set aside.
A few final steps are to cut the end, the white part of the head of the escarole which is the most bitter part and discard. Chop the remaining leaves. Don’t use spinach as a substitute. I see a bunch of recipes online that say to use spinach and that is not what’s used in an Italian wedding soup. If you think the escarole is going to make it bitter, you’re wrong. The sweet and rich flavor of the broth and the other ingredients need this balance. Plus escarole is so good for you.
Remove the soup from the stove and toss in the escarole and stir. This will blend in beautifully and keep it’s nice green color. When you are ready to serve, spoon in the ancini de pepe into bowl and ladle the hot deliciousness of the Italian wedding soup on top. You can garnish with Italian parsley and maybe a drizzle if good quality Italian olive oil, then serve with a chunk of crusty bread and a glass of wine and…
Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Do you have a pasta recipe to share? Just like this Italian wedding soup recipe I will post it right here on this site for a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe.