Archive for » January 13th, 2010«

I  have tried at least 6 versions of Italian wedding soup. All were similar but all had a few variations. Here is a version of this traditional Italian staple that was compiled from all of those efforts.

Italian Meat Balls
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Italian Romano cheese
1/4 cup Italian Parmigiano cheese
1/2 cup homemade Italian bread crumbs
3-4 T fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup whole milk or non-fat half and half
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground lamb or pork

Spice mix:

1 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T ground allspice
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 T sea salt

Mix everything in a bowl just like you would with meat loaf.

Roll into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls, should make 25-30.

Sauté in olive oil until just brown on the outside.

Remove form heat and set aside.

Ingredients for the soup:
1-2 T e. v. olive oil
3/4 cup carrots, chopped (an Italian wedding soup staple)
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T dry sherry, Madeira, or Marsala wine
1 cup diced, smoked ham or Canadian Bacon, or 10 oz. of canned ham, broken up with a fork (not in some Italian wedding soup recipes but the ham adds a lot in our humble opinions). 5-6 cups chicken stock

More Soup Ingredients:
1 cup round pasta, such as shell. (One Italian wedding soup recipe I tried  to use a regular can of white beans instead of pasta. Another Italian wedding soup recipe used orzo. Try it each way ~ It’s ALL good!)
1 T dried oregano
5-6 large leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 cups arugula or baby spinach I like arugula best, with its peppery taste)
3-4 T chopped Italian Parsley (for final garnish)
1/2 cup shredded Italian Parmigiano-reggiano (sprinkle before serving)

Soup Preparation:
Sauté onions, celery and carrots in olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes

Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.

Add the ham, then the balsamic vinegar and let it be absorbed.

Add sherry and let it reduce (This seems kind of like a lot of steps, we know, but they all build layers of flavor that will set your creation apart from most. This is the type of technique a Professional Chef would use to create a dish that people rave about, and unfortunately, pay through the nose for. Unfortunately, that is, unless you own the restaurant!)

When sherry is almost evaporated, add the chicken stock, pasta, meat balls and oregano. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is soft.

Add the chopped basil and the whole arugula leaves, and simmer 1 more minute and remove from heat.

Add Italian parsley and Parmigiano-reggiano to complete this wonderful, Italian soup recipe that will have your friends calling you “Gourmet Extraordinaire”.

I do not know the origin of Italian wedding soup, nor how it got its unusual but romantic name. Maybe there is not that much of a story here, really. Could be, it is just a traditional soup served at weddings in a particular region of the country.

Buon appetito always!!

This is a easy variation of a old time favorite. The original recipe does not call for cream cheese,  it calls for SOUR CREAM,but I didn’t have it one time when I made it so I added cream cheese and we ended up liking the taste better. Serve over some egg noodles or rice.
What You Need!!!

1 pound cubed beef stew meat
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed golden
mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Make It!!!!

In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup,onion, Worcestershire sauce , salt, pepper, garlic and water.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Add the cream cheese just before serving. If you just happen to have some soup cream you can also add a dollop just before serving to give it that “Tangy” taste!
Note: You can leave out the onion soup mix and the mushrooms~ it is all personal taste!

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
4 ounces cream cheese
1 beef bullion cube
1/2 packet dry Onion Soup Mix
8 oz. mushrooms~ Sauteed

This recipe actually calls for key line juice and zest, but I didn’t have that on hand so I used lemon juice and lemon zest, and they are SO good. Like having a party in your palete. The recipe is quick and easy!

What You Need!!!!

Cookie crust:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch kosher salt

Lime OR Lemon topping:

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or bottled key lime juice)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Make It!!!!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 by 13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray.

To make the crust, combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and mix another minute until well combined *Note: The cookie crust dough can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, then wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake the bars, simply bring the dough to room temperature and pat out as described above.

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, and pat out to an even thickness over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven, and cook on a baking rack.

To make the topping, whisk together the eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, and whisk until just combined, then whisk in the lime juice and zest. Pour the lime topping over the cooled crust, then bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Allow the bars to cool completely. Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into squares.  Note: For the neatest presentation, use a metal spatula or a butcher’s scraper to remove the bars from the pan. Leftovers will keep for 2 or 3 days at room temperature, or for up to a week in the refrigerator.


You should know by now…..Mangia! 🙂