Meatballs have been on my mind since our local market had a sale on ground veal. When Tuttorosso tomatoes sent me a box of Tuttorosso Crushed with Basil, Tuttorosso NSA Peeled Plum and Tuttorosso Diced Tomatoes to use in an Italian-inspired recipe, I knew that I wanted to do something with meatballs.
Normally, I make an Italian wedding soup with meatballs but I spied a minestrone soup in Bon Appetit that was made with chicken meatballs. Why not? Minestrone has lots of delicious veggies and could easily handle a tomato based broth as well. And meatballs would be icing on the proverbial cake.
Cheers to Spring and meatballs!
Meatballs – Ingredients:
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper
Meatballs – Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and with your hands mix well. Form small balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F and then turn and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Make sure that they are not pink on the inside. I made the meatballs the night before and then added them to the soup.
Soup Ingredients (serves 6-8):
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, sliced in rounds
- 1 zucchini, sliced and then again into half moons
- 1 squash, sliced and then again into half moons
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 28 -ounce can No-Salt-Added Peeled Plum Tuttorosso tomatoes, rough chopped (I used 6 tomatoes & some of the juice)
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (I used one of each)
- 2 cups ditalini pasta
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook until translucent, approximately 4 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until they start to soften, approximately another 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and squash to the pot and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes. Rough chop the plum tomatoes and add them and about 1/3 cup of the juice from the tomatoes. Grind some salt and pepper into the pot and cook for a few minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Taste and check seasoning – add more salt and pepper to taste. About 10 minutes before serving, add the meatballs and pasta and allow to simmer. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
**I like to prepare the pasta separately and add it at the end. If you are comfortable cooking the pasta in the soup, then you can do that or you can prepare it according to directions on the package and add it at the end before serving. I end up with firmer pasta doing it separately.
Thanks to Tuttorosso’s for the tomatoes – my opinion, as always, is my own.