Comedian Michael "Wheels" Parise is an executive chef classically trained in French, Italian, Mediterranean, and American Southern cuisine. Here is his recipe for Italian Wedding Soup. To see more of his culinary creations follow him on Instagram @wheelselive. Bon Apetite!
¾ lb. ground chicken, turkey, pork, beef, veal, or a combination
½ cup dry bread crumbs or panko
3 large eggs
½ cup grated Romano cheese, divided
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 bunch greens (such as escarole) trimmed & torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
red pepper flakes (optional)
lemon wedges (optional)
1. Combine ground meat, bread crumbs, 1 egg, and ¼ cup each of the cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
2. Mix, and form into ¾ to ½ inch balls. You should have 20-30 meatballs, depending on how large you form them.
3. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat.
4. Add the meatballs in batches and cook, turning until browned all over. This should take 3-5 minutes. (If they are still pink in the middle, don’t worry; they will continue to cook in the broth.) Set them aside on paper towels or a paper bag to absorb excess oil.
5. In a 4-6 quart soup pot, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat.
6. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions are tender and the garlic is soft, but not browned (about 5 minutes).
7. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
8. Add the greens, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
9. Add the meatballs and cook another 5 minutes.
10. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 eggs and cheeses in a small bowl, stirring with a fork to blend.
11. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly.
12. Cover and simmer just until the eggs are a bit set, about 30 seconds.
13. Season to taste with salt and pepper, maybe even a pinch of red pepper flakes and a squirt of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Leftover soup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. To re-heat, simmer gently over low heat.