There are probably as many recipes for Italian Wedding Soup as there are interpretations of the savory concoction's origins.
Many food historians suggest that the name is the result of a simple mistranslation, believing that the name recalls the delicious marriage of the soup's ingredients. Other sources consider the savory soup a union of resources. In the rural regions of southern Italy and Sicily, the soup represented an amalgamation of ingredients -- one household contributed chopped meat, another gave up a fat hen, a family might forage for greens or a group of villagers convene to turn out handmade pastas.
Yield: About 12 cups
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 tablespoon chopped garlic in 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Spike All-Purpose Seasoning
1/4 pound uncooked orzo pasta
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup cold water
Grated Romano cheese to taste
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork or veal
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make meatballs, combine ground meats, breadcrumbs, egg, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and 1 clove chopped garlic. Form into tiny meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from sheet and set aside.
Microwave spinach according to package directions. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out all moisture and set aside.