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Mini Meatball Soup with Broken Spaghetti and Escarole

Serves 6

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons grated onion 
  • 4 cloves garlic, 2 cloves finely chopped or grated, 2 cloves sliced  
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, broken into thirds
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped 
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 1 large or 2 medium heads escarole, cleaned and coarsely chopped 
  • 2 quarts chicken stock 
  • 1 Parm cheese rind
PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Moisten panko with milk in a small bowl then add to meat. Add parsley, cheese, grated onion, chopped garlic, egg and a fat drizzle of olive oil, and mix well with your hands to combine. Roll walnut-sized meatballs and bake until crisp and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
In soup pot over medium-high heat, add butter and melt. Add pasta and toast until fragrant and toasty; season with salt and pepper. Remove spaghetti and reserve. Add olive oil, a turn of the pan, to the pot with the chopped onions, sliced garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook to tender, 10 minutes. Add escarole and wilt; season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add stock and cheese rind, bring soup to a low boil. Add pasta back to soup and cook to tender. Add mini meatballs and serve.

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