Gnocchi, Meatball and Spinach Soup

Gnocchi, Meatball and Spinach soup (2 of 2)This months Secret Recipe Club had me venturing over to Edesia’s Notebook and straight into her soups category of her extensive recipe index. The weather had turned cold rather abruptly when I was deciding what to make however by the time cooking day came it had turned into a hot and humid long weekend.  So I said screw it, turned the air conditioner up high and pulled out my pot to make this amazing Gnocchi, Meatball and Spinach soup.

The original recipe called for sausage but I decided to switch it up and turn it into a wedding soup variation by using these beef and mushroom meatballs.  I added fresh spinach and everything turned out perfectly!

Yields 4

Gnocchi, Meatball and Spinach Soup

By taking out half of the ground beef and adding an equal amount of chopped mushrooms you've reduced the fat of this recipe and added great taste and more nutrients.

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Ingredients

  • For the Meatballs:
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • For the Soup:
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cup chicken broth plus 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 lb gnocchi
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. To make the Meatballs:
  2. In a large bowl add the ground beef.
  3. In a food processor chop the onion, mushrooms and garlic really fine.
  4. Using your hands blend together the beef, mushrooms mix and egg until blended.
  5. Roll the meat into 1' sized meatballs.
  6. Heat a couple tablespoonfuls of oil in a large skillet. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
  8. To make the Soup:
  9. In a large stock pot add the oil.
  10. Saute the onion until just translucent.
  11. Stir in the garlic, meatballs and spinach.
  12. Add the broth and italian seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  13. Add the gnocchi and cook until they puff and float to the top.
7.6.8
135

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Spanakopita

Spanikopita (2 of 2)

I work with a great group of people at my day job.  An eclectic mixture of background, cultures, ages and religions.  What I love most about them is that they totally “get” me.  They understand my sense of humor and on some of my most tactless days they forgive my faults.  One such co worker has been waiting for this recipe forever.  And because she is such a sweetheart she doesn’t complain one bit.

I am so happy she loves this dish.  As a vegetarian she often can’t enjoy some of the savory dishes I bring for their enjoyment so I was thrilled this one was a hit. She is a vegetarian as per her religion and is also the sweetest lady I know.  During one of my not so bright moments I told her she had to make sure she he had a cheesesteak sandwich on her first trip to Philadelphia with her family.  I got myself on my error but not before it came flying out of my mouth.  I’m so glad she thinks I’m hilarious!

Yields 6-8

Spanakopita
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Ingredients

  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
  • 2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 10 sheets of phyllo
  • melted butter

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium high heat. Melt the butter. Add the garlic and onions and cook until fragrant 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the spinach and nutmeg and cook for a few minutes longer.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper and egg.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. While working with each piece of phyllo make sure you cover the unused with a damp towel.
  6. Place a single sheet on the parchment paper. Brush with the melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush surface with butter. Continue with sheets of phyllo until you have 5 sheets total.
  7. Spread the cheese and spinach mixture evenly over top.
  8. Top with a sheet of phyllo and brush surface with butter. Continue until you have 5 sheets stacked.
  9. Bake in preheated oven until browned and heated through. Let cool before slicing into squares.
Recipe Type: Appetiser
7.6.8
323

 

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

Many times on this blog I have enumerated about DH’s limited palate and my enjoyment of nights on my own where I get to cook delicacies for my sole enjoyment.  Or for the good fortune of my food adventurous acquaintances. Yes feeding DH can be headbangingly limited though credit is due on the occasions when he has no other option but to eat what I have created, less he have to find something for himself.  There are, however, times like this recipe here that I cook something that is only for him.

Italian Wedding Soup

This is not my favorite soup in the world (hello french onion!).  Trust me it’s delicious but until DH had mentioned it I would have never made it on my own.  I’m glad I did make it though.  Aside from the time it takes to roll all those meatballs it is relatively simple to make and with simple changes like pasta shape, addition or subtraction of vegetables (wouldn’t carrots look pretty?), and meatball concoctions, incredibly easy to personalize.  And if you do what I did and make tons of meatballs, more than enough for twelve pots of this soup, you have quick leftovers to freeze and bring out the next time you want spaghetti, or a stroganoff or meatball sub sandwich.

Italian Wedding Soup

Yields 6-8

Italian Wedding Soup

The ingredients required for the meatballs make more than enough for this soup with lots of leftovers. Cook up all the meatballs and store the extra in the freezer to use later.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 1/3 lb lean ground pork
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumps
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock plus 2 cups water
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta

Instructions

  1. Combine the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, chopped onions, bread crumbs, spinach and 3 cloves of garlic. Roll into mini meatballs.
  2. Heat a large fry pan and cook the meatballs in batches until browned. Drain on a plate with paper towel.
  3. [img src="http://www.tastygardener.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Italian-Wedding-Soup-1-of-4-300x199.jpg?x45499" alt="Italian Wedding Soup" width="300" height="199" class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-19720"]
  4. While the meatballs are cooking melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and cook until soft.
  6. Add the stock and water and increased heat to high. Bring to a boil. Add the orzo and cooked meatballs (as many as you want to have in your soup, leftovers will be frozen for another day).
  7. Once the orzo is fork tender add the spinach and continue cooking until completely wilted. Serve
Recipe Type: Soups, Salads and Sandwiches
7.6.8
308

 

 

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Bocconcini

I found this amazing recipe from an issue of Canadian Living.  It’s is super easy to make and surprisingly filling.  Make this a standard for meatless Mondays. Adjust the amount of red pepper flakes according to your heat tolerance.  This amount gives just a little bit of zing.

Serves 1/4

Pasta with Spinach, Tomatoes and Bocconcini
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Ingredients

  • 5 cups fusilli pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup mini bocconcini

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until fork tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  2. In a large skillet over med-high cook the onion and garlic with the oil until soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes.
  4. Stir in the salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
  5. Cook until the tomatoes begin to split open.
  6. Add the spinach, cooked pasta and reserved liquid.
  7. Add the cheese.
  8. Cook until the spinach begins to wilt and the cheese starts to melt.
Recipe Type: Main Dishes
7.6.8
174

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until fork tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

In a large skillet over med-high cook the onion and garlic with the oil until soft.

Add the tomatoes.

Stir in the salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.

Cook until the tomatoes begin to split open.

Add the spinach, cooked pasta and reserved liquid.

Add the cheese.

Cook until the spinach begins to wilt and the cheese starts to melt.