Italian Wedding Soup

Recipe Courtesy of Jennifer Segal adapted from Once Upon a Chef

Makes 8 servings

For the meatballs:
1 large egg
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb 85 or 90% lean ground beef
1/2 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from the casings
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6 cups high-quality chicken broth, such as Swanson (do not use low-sodium)
2 cups high-quality beef broth, such as Swanson (do not use low-sodium)
2 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (okay to use black pepper)
1 cup small pasta such as dittalini
4 oz fresh spinach, stems trimmed and roughly chopped (once prepped, you should have about 3 packed cups)
Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving

Make the meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set an oven-proof roasting rack over top.
Spray the rack generously with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the egg with the chives, sage and garlic.
Add the remaining meatball ingredients and mash with your hands until evenly combined.
Roll the mixture into tablespoon-size balls, about 1 inch in diameter (it will make approximately 50 meatballs), and place on the prepared rack.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Set aside.

Meanwhile, start the soup.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, beef broth, water, wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes (or according to package directions).
Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach and meatballs.
Simmer for a few minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the meatballs are warmed through.
Ladle into bowls and serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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