First things first, thank you so much for the birthday wishes all week! Y’all know how to make a girl feel special!!
I’ve been so infatuated and had such good luck with my Foolproof cookbook that I couldn’t resist throwing Back to Basics in the buggy when I came across it at Costco. When I saw Ina make Italian Wedding Soup and Brownie Pudding for her anniversary dinner with Jeffrey, my mouth was literally watering. And my plans for Sunday Supper were finalized.
Italian Wedding Soup
Source: Ina Garten
For the meatballs:
¾ pound ground chicken
½ pound chicken sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the soup:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup ¼-inch diced carrots (3 carrots)
¾ cup (¼-inch diced celery (2 stalks)
10 cups chicken stock
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
¼ cup minced fresh dill
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and trimmed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
For the meatballs, place the ground chicken, sausage, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1- to 1¼-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round.) Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.
Source: Ina Garten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (optional – I included. And I also sampled. YUMMY!!)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 x 12 x 2 inch) oval baking dish. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together and set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds, framboise (if using), and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish and bake for exactly 1 hour. A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three-quarters clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.
The soup turned out perfectly, which is a good thing since we invited our new neighbors and long time friends the G family over for supper on the porch. The brownie pudding was equally as divine and looked awfully professional to boot. These two are keepers!!
With that, I’m off to mass, two birthday parties, a baseball practice and a baseball game. Wowza. When did these kids get so busy?!?!
PS. Today I’m wising bestie R the happiest of birthdays. We have so many fun memories and escapades from over the years!!