Canal House Cooks Every Day

by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

Hardcover, 359 pages, Andrews McMeel Publishing, List Price: $45 | purchase

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Canal House Cooks Every Day
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Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

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Recipe: 'Chicken Broth With Spinach And Little Meatballs'

Chicken Broth With Spinach & Little Meatballs
Courtesy of Andrews McMeel Publishing

Chicken Broth With Spinach & Little Meatballs

Serves 8–10

The recipe for these meatballs is one of our all-purpose meatball favorites. The meatballscan be rolled larger or smaller, depending on what they're to be used for. We likebigger ones to go with our spaghetti or buttered noodles, and walnut-size ones to servewith cocktails or put in soup. The ricotta keeps them tender and moist and their flavor isdelicate, unlike those that have bread or crackers as a binder.

For the meatballs

½ pound ground pork

½ pound ground veal

2 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped

½ cup fresh whole-milk ricotta

½ cup grated pecorino

1 egg, lightly beaten

Handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

Handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

For the soup

10–12 cups chicken broth

1 pound baby spinach leaves

Salt and pepper

Really good extra-virgin olive oil

For the meatballs, gently mix together the pork, veal, prosciutto, ricotta, pecorino, egg,parsley, mint, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl until it is well combined; do not overwork. Using a spoon, scoop out a small amount of the meat mixture into yourhands and roll it into a ball. Make all the meatballs the same size, about 1 inch, so they willcook evenly. Arrange them in a single layer on a sheet pan or tray as you work. You should end up with about 80 meatballs. The meatballs can be made a few hours ahead and storedin the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until you are ready to cook them.

For the soup, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a large pot over medium heat.Working in batches, cook the meatballs in the simmering broth until they float to the surfaceand are cooked through, 3–4 minutes. (The meatballs will need to cook for about 1½ minutes after they've floated to the surface.) Transfer the cooked meatballs to a wide dish,add a ladleful of hot broth, and cover with plastic wrap to keep them warm as you work.

Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, then return it to the pot.Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until it collapses and wilts, about 2 minutes. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the meatballsbetween the soup bowls, then ladle some of the soup into each bowl. Drizzle witholive oil and serve.

From Canal House Cooks Every Day by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. Copyright 2012 by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton. Excerpted with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing.