Fratelli Perata Winery

GRANDMA BALLONE’S WEDDING SOUP

Italian weddings demand great celebration. And the sacrifice! No, no, everything is done out of love and this soup is proof. The pasta can actually be found in the grocery store; I scouted it out earlier.(Can’t find the Mafalda pasta anymore which was from another recipe, but there is Mafaldine pasta. I hope I have recouped my credibility on the pasta scene.) Be certain to make very small meatballs. Here’s where you need many helping hands, either all chatting together or all watching the same football game. And then, soup’s on and open a bottle of Mama’s Mafalda.

whole chicken                                      one pound ground beef
two split bone chicken breasts               bread crumbs
3 onions                                              grated cheese
5 celery stalks                                      1 egg
3 carrots                                              salt and pepper
2 packages frozen spinach (chopped)    basil
pastine pasta

Soup

Remove innards of chicken.  Place into large pot, along with the two split bone chicken breasts.  Fill with enough water to cover the chicken.  Add the 3 onions cut in half, 3 celery stalks cut in half (plus plenty of celery leaves) and small amount of salt and pepper.  Slow boil with lid slightly cracked for 1.5 hours stirring occasionally. 

After 1.5 hours, remove everything from the broth (use a strainer to get the small vegetable parts).  Discard the vegetables.  Pull the white meat from the chicken and put back in broth along with 3 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery stocks, the meatballs (see recipe below) and the 2 packages of frozen spinach.  Simmer (do not boil) for an additional half hour.

I recommend cooking the pastine separately and adding it to the finished product when needed because it tends to soak up the broth.  However, you can simply add the pastine along with the meatballs, white meat, etc. if you so desire.  Serve the finished product with bread and grated parmesan cheese.

Meatballs

Mix together one pound of ground beef, one egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, lots of basil, salt and pepper.  Roll into verysmall meatballs.  It should take about an hour.  Cook at 325 for 15 – 20 minutes.