I made a batch a few weeks ago and it was delicious, and I had enough leftovers for lunch for the next few days. I've made this for a few years, since I found the recipe in Rachael Ray's book, Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals 2. My copy of the book is filled with sticky notes and food stains, so you know I've used it frequently.
Other recipes in it that my family has enjoyed include Marinated Beef, Chicken, Pork or Portobello Mushrooms, which is a simple marinade with a basic pan gravy that anyone can whip up quickly, Cheesy Orzo, a versatile side dish, and Sausage Calzones.
The recipe is below:
Rachael Ray's Meatball & Macaroni Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef, pork and veal combined
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 6 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups dried pasta, rings, broken fettuccini or ditalini
- 1 pound triple washed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
In a deep pot over medium heat add oil, chopped carrots, celery and onions and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook veggies 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the veggies cook, combine meat, egg, garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg.
Uncover your soup pot and add broth and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil. When soup boils, reduce heat a bit and start to roll meat mixture into small balls, dropping them straight into the pot. You are making meat dumplings that will cook in the broth. When you are done rolling the meat, add pasta to the soup and stir. Cover and simmer soup 10 minutes. When pasta is tender, stir in chopped spinach in batches. When spinach has wilted into the soup, the soup is done and ready to serve. Adjust your seasonings. Serve soup with crusty bread or grilled 4 cheese sandwiches.
I use Whole Foods Organic Chicken Broth, it really has the best flavor. I also add the spinach to each bowl individually. If you add directly the soup pot, the wilted spinach gets too stringy in the leftover soup.