And I Can Cook, Too

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April 1, 2007


Today should've/would've/could've been my wedding anniversary. But instead it's just another day I'm spending alone in a strange country and a house that is not mine. I should have busied myself writing an essay on the transition from service a la francaise in the 18th century to service a la russe in the 19th century and the impact the change had on the field of gastronomy, but my brain was solidly focused on other things and only able to handle manual labor. I decided that cooking would take my mind off things, searched the kitchen, and got busy. It was only after I finished eating that I realized I'd made Italian Wedding Soup.

Italian Wedding Soup


1 Lb. Ground Meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken...whatever)
2 Eggs, beaten
2 Slices Bread (white bread is ok if you absolutely must, but really you should use whole wheat), run through the food processor to make fine crumbs
1/4 C Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 C Sweet Onion, minced
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated fine
1 C White Wine (and I have told you a dozen times NOT American Chardonnay)
Salt and Pepper
Oil or Cooking Spray

Combine all of the above until thoroughly blended. Using your hands, form as many 1-inch balls as you can. Heat the oil or cooking spray over medium heat in a large frying pan. In batches, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Be sure not to over-crowd the pan - this could take several rounds of frying. Remove the meatballs. Add the wine to the pan, and as it reduces, scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to remove any brown bits. Allow the wine to reduce to 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and save the liquid.

1 Gal. Chicken Stock or Broth (Obviously I prefer stock, but I only had bullion today so that's what I used)
1 Lb. Leafy Green (I used spinach, but you could use mustard greens, escarole, whatever you like)
1/4 Lb. Spaghetti, broken into small pieces
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Additional Parmesan, for garnish, if desired.

In a large stockpot over high heat, bring the stock or broth to a boil. Add the reserved wine from the meatball pan. Add the pasta, and cook until just becoming al dente ("to the tooth"), about 5 minutes. Add the meatballs, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 7-10 minutes more. Add the leafy green, and simmer until just wilted. Taste, and add salt and pepper as you like. Top individual bowls with the Parmesan, if desired. Serve hot, and try not to think about the past. Or the future. Or the present, for that matter. Enjoy.


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