Meatballs and Rice in Broth
Serves 4 as entrée and 8 as starter
Rachael creates her version of Italian Wedding Soup with a mixture of mini meatballs, rice pilaf and escarole simmered in chicken broth.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup orzo
- 1 cup white rice
- 8 cups chicken stock or broth (64 ounces), divided
- 3/4 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- A few grates of nutmeg
- About 1/3-1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small head escarole, chopped
- In a saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast to deep golden in color and fragrant. Stir in the rice; add about 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 18 minutes until the rice is just tender, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of water as needed if the rice begins to stick.
- Bring the remaining 6 cups stock plus 2 cups water to a boil in a soup pot. Reduce the heat to a low, rolling simmer.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper; add the ricotta, season with a little freshly grated nutmeg and add the breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, grated cheese and EVOO; mix to combine. Use a small scoop to roll 24-30 walnut-size balls. Add the meatballs to the broth and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Wilt in the greens and turn off the heat; let stand for 2 minutes and serve in shallow bowls.