Saturday, September 8, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Escarole and Little Meatballs Soup - Minestra l Tiny Meatballs Recipe

Ah, Escarole, where have you been all my life?
I don't remember Ma ever serving it.
Then, again, we lived in College Point.

During the 50s and 60s College Point was a strictly German and Irish town.
The church suppers weren't very interesting.
More like "Welcome to the world of cabbage and boiled meat."
Oh, well, so it goes.

Since I just made the 'Schcarole for the two of us, I had a half head leftover.
Back to Carmela's Feeding my Family in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
There's a recipe for Minestra.
Carmela calls it Minest'.
The half recipe of soup used up the rest of the head escarole.
And soup makes a nice meal in Autumn. 

Oh, the recipe calls for either veal or beef.
Guess what I used.

Carmela also used 8 ounces of ditalini or tubetti.
They are very small pasta.
She also suggested spaghetti broken into bite-sized pieces.
You get the idea.

No pasta?
About a half cup of rice is also nice.
Oh, add the rice a little sooner since it takes longer to cook.


Serves 6
Trim and discard bruised leaves of
1 head escarole (about 1 pound)
Cut off the stem end and separate the leaves.
Wash well in cool water.
Stack the leaves and cut in 1 inch strips.
There should be about 4 Cups.

In a large pot place 
the escarole strips
3 large carrots, chopped
6 Quarts chicken broth
Bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the Meatballs
In a large bowl combine
1 pound ground veal or beef
2 large eggs
1/2 Cup finely minced onion
1 Cup plain bread crumbs
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Shape the mixture into tiny meatballs.
Drop the meatballs into the soup.
Simmer about 15 minutes.

8 ounces small pasta or broken spaghetti
Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Taste and correct the seasoning.
Serve hot with grated parmesan.

Would I make Minest' again?
Winters in Winnipeg are really long and cold.
Soups are perfect for our climate.
And it's a great way to use up the leftover escarole.

One recipe down.  Eighty more to go.  


  1. Escarole Soup with Little Meatballs, oh my! We had this soup at many a dinner table when I was growing up Margaret! I haven't made it in years!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing and thank you for joining us for Meatball Day!

  2. Good morning, Louise!
    Yes, it's fun to try new recipes, but it's so nice to enjoy an old favourite with its memories.
    Will be popping over to meatball day on your blog

    Hurrah for meatballs! Such a selection of recipe ideas!
    Thank you for posting this page!


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