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Playing How to Make One-Pan Pasta: Mini Meatballs with Orecchiette and Escarole | Rachael Ray

"If you like wedding soup," says Rach, "you're gonna love this dish!" She created it after John asked her to basically make wedding soup without the soup—less broth, more pasta, mini meatballs. It's a winner, and it's prepared in one pan! 

For two of our most popular meatball recipes, check out Cheese Stuffed Swedish Meatballs and The Meatball Shop's Classic Beef Meatballs.


  • 5 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 small or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix or beef and pork
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus some to pass at table
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen or fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or ground pepperoncini
  • 2 quarts chicken or beef stock or mix (1 quart each)
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 large bunch escarole, chopped
  • The juice of the zested lemon


Serves: 4


Heat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons EVOO over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes, then cool.

Rachael Ray 12.5-Inch Deep Frying Pan with Helper Handle

Rachael Ray 12.5-Inch Deep Frying Pan with Helper Handle

Rachael Ray

Soak bread with milk. 

Place meat in bowl. Add moist bread, season with salt and pepper and add half the onions and garlic, egg, cheese, parsley, nutmeg, lemon zest, fennel pollen or seeds and red pepper. Combine the meatball mixture and roll 1-inch balls. Add the remaining EVOO to pan over medium-high heat and brown the small meatballs (do this in 2 batches, if necessary, depending on the size of the pan, removing the browned ones to tray or platter). 

With all the meatballs in the pan, add stock and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook at a low simmer until al dente. Wilt in the greens and add the juice of the lemon that has been zested. Serve with more cheese to pass.