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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs

2015-04-16 12.37.46

I’m giving this traditional Italian vegetable soup a makeover. I’ve added chicken sausage meatballs to what was an already perfect soup. Now it’s even heartier. This is my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time 48 to 50 minutes minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: Food Processor, 6-quart saucepot, cookie dough scoop, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans

Ingredients For Chicken Sausage Meatballs:
1 pound of ground chicken breasts
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of finely fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of freshly ground Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

Ingredients For Ribollita:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 diced onion
1/4 pound of pancetta, diced
1 cup of carrots (2 medium-size carrots), diced
3 ribs of celery (1 cup), diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of Cannellini beans drained and rinsed, 1 15-ounce can to be puréed
1 bay leaf,
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole tomatoes
2 quarts of unsalted chicken stock
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped Savoy cabbage
5 slices of good sourdough bread, crusts removed
1/2 a cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
*E.V.O.O for drizzling over the top of each bowl

Directions For Chicken Meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Line two rimmed baking sheet pans with parchment paper. Spray each one with non-stick cooking spray.

In al large mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the list above, except the ground chicken, mix to combine. Add the ground chicken last. Using a fork, combine all the ingredients (flavorings) throughout the ground chicken. Do not overmix.

Note: Every few scoops of the meat mixture spray the inside of the scoop with non-stick cooking spray for easy removal. After forming a few meatballs, lightly spritz your hands with warm tap water. This will give your meatballs a smoother texture.

Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hands to form the meatballs. Lightly spray the tops of all the meatballs with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, use this time to prep all the vegetables from the list above. Once you’ve prepped the veggies the meatballs should be ready to come out of the oven. Set the two trays of meatballs aside.

Start the Ribollita.
Over medium heat, add the olive oil and diced onions. Sauté until soft and translucent but not brown. Add crushed red pepper flakes and diced pancetta, cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the diced carrots, celery, and bay leaf stir to combine. Add the minced garlic, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook together for 10 minutes until the veggies start to soften. At this point, add the whole canned tomatoes with their juice. Use a wooden spoon, break up the tomatoes.

Next, add the chopped cabbage and kale, and freshly grated nutmeg, cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the greens wilt down. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the puréed Cannellini beans, stir to combine. Next, add the whole beans, again stir to combine.

Pour in the unsalted chicken stock. This is the point when you add the cooked meatballs. Still on medium-low heat simmer for another 15 minutes. At this point add in the cubed bread and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. The bread will dissolve and thicken the soup. The Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs is done at this point. Turn the heat off add the fresh basil leaves, stir to combine.

To Serve:
Ladle a good helping of the Ribollita into large porcelain soup or pasta bowl. Add a nice helping of the freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Finally. lightly drizzle your best *E.V.O.O on top. I promise, if you love really good soup or a delicious stew, I would say try making my Ribollita With Chicken Sausage Meatballs.

*E.V.O.O. is extra virgin olive oil.

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Tips And Tricks In The Kitchen

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Have you ever been in the kitchen and started to cook or bake something and realized you were out of a certain ingredient. Well, I have a few tip and tricks that may help.

Buttermilk:
I know I don’t always have buttermilk when I need it. I learned a trick and I want to share with you.  How you can make buttermilk using two ingredients you most likely have your kitchen. All you need is 1 cup of whole milk, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir together and let sit for 10 minutes on the counter. You now have buttermilk for your recipe.

Cake Flour:
Most of us have all-purpose flour in our pantry. Now, I’m not sure I really understand the science behind this but, I did learn that all- purpose flour has a higher protein content, than cake flour. In order to lower the protein content of the all-purpose flour, all you do is measure out 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Next, remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk together to combine well and you now have cake flour. Amazing right?

Powdered Sugar:
Powdered sugar is another easy one you can make if you have a spice grinder. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the spice grinder with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. That’s it. If you should need more than one cup, just add 1 tablespoon cornstarch for every cup of sugar.

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