Tag Archives: ditalini

Escarole & Little Meatball Soup (Minestra)

I love soup. Even in the hot weather of Florida soup is always a great dinner. This is a really simple soup. If you’re short on time you can always use pre-made frozen meatballs in this recipe but why would you? Freshly made are so much better. This recipe is a great comfort food dish. Make extra and freeze it!


1 head of escarole (about 1 pound)

6 quarts of chicken broth (homemade or store-bought is fine)

3 large carrots, chopped

8 ounces ditalini, tubetti, or spaghetti broken into bite-sized pieces

Freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

For the Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef or veal

2 large eggs

½ cup finely minced onion

1 cup bread crumbs

1 cup freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Trim the escarole and discard any bruised leaves. Cut off the stem ends. Separate the leaves and wash well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where the dirt collects. Stack the leaves and cut crosswise into 1″ strips. There should be about 4 cups.

2. In a large pot, combine the escarole, broth, and carrots. Bring to a simmer and cook until the escarole is almost tender, about 30 minutes.

3. While the escarole is cooking, mix together all the meatball ingredients. Shape the mixture into tiny meatballs, less than 1″ in diameter.

4. When the escarole is cooked, stir in the pasta and return the soup to simmer. Drop the meatballs into the soup. Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until the meatballs and pasta are cooked, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot with grated Parmesan.

Serves 6

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