Italian wedding soup
  • ¾ pound ground chicken
  • ½ pound chicken sausage, casings removed - you want to use un-cooked chicken sausages, not the cooked ones. Go to your meat counter or butcher for this. They will even remove the casings for you if you ask.
  • ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves - I used Italian flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons milk - I used 1%
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 1½ cups diced carrots (3 carrots), cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 10 cups (80 ounces) chicken stock - if you have homemade stock, great! I did not, so I used 2.5 32 oz boxes of organic chicken stock.
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta such as Fregola Sarda, tubetini or stars - I used Fregola Sarda pasta as I wanted a chewier and firmer pasta.
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • 10-12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed - I just used two 5oz (10oz total) containers of pre-washed spinach.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Let's prep your ingredients for the meatballs.Mince your garlic, lightly beat the egg, wash and chop up your parsley, measure out your breadcrumbs, milk and cheeses.
  3. Place the following ingredients together in a medium bowl, ground chicken, chicken sausage, ⅔ cup bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 3 tablespoons chopped parsley,1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Gently combine the ingredients together with a fork.
  5. Now, it's time to make the meatballs. This recipe makes 40 1 to ¼ inch meatballs (about the size of a large gum ball or jawbreaker). I couldn't fit all 40 on one baking sheet so I used another smaller one. If you arrange it and are more organized than me, you may be able to fit all 40 on one sheet. Line a large (and small, if you need it) rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Make your 40 meatballs and place them on the baking sheet. The meatballs don't have to be perfectly round and you can put them close together because they don't spread.
  6. Note: The first time I made these I could only get 30 meatballs out of the mixture. I made them smaller the next time and got my 40. No worries if you only get 30 meatballs. It will still be plenty.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and are lightly browned. It took my meatballs 30 minutes to cook. You can also use a meat thermometer to test if your meatballs are done. I usually do that because I'm afraid of undercooked meat. Set the meatballs aside.
  8. While your meatballs are cooking, prep the ingredients for the soup.
  9. Wash and chop up your yellow onion, carrots, celery and dill. Measure out the ½ cup wine, the 1 cup of pasta and the10 cups of chicken stock.
  10. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and and sauté till softened, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Add the 10 cups chicken stock and the wine and bring to a boil. I turned up the heat to medium-high to help the soup to boil faster.
  12. Add the 1-cup pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes for orzo or standard white pasta, and 8-10 minutes for the fregola pasta. You only want to cook the pasta till its tender, as the pasta will absorb the broth and continue to get tender as it sits in the soup.
  13. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste the soup and add any additional salt or pepper that you wish. I added a pinch or two of salt, but didn't feel the need to add pepper.
  14. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. It will seem like you're adding tons of spinach, but don't worry, it all cooks down.
  15. Ladle the soup into some bowls and top with some fresh parmesan if you wish.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at