Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Zuppa di Matrimonio

In honor of my blog grrrlfriend Jesska's birthday, here's my recipe for Zuppa di Matrimonio, otherwise known as Italian Wedding Soup. The traditional way to prepare this is with meatballs (to symbolize fertility via - you know - their ball-ness), but I've found that it's kind of hard to eat meatballs with a spoon, so I just lightly brown the sausage & toss it in, thus eliminating the steps of mixing & forming the meatballs. It still tastes good - I'm talkin' "Smack Yer Granny" good.

The main things to remember about this are A: use the freshest possible ingredients and 2: as The Girl so graciously added to the instructions below (teach me to walk away & leave the posting page up on the computer), don't forget to put your love and positive energy in there. Oh, and always stir deosil (clockwise <|;o) ) to keep negative energies out of your delectables.

First, brine a whole chicken (couple tablespoons Kosher salt per quart of water + several split cloves of garlic - enough fluid to cover the bird) & let sit covered in a bowl in the sink at room temp for about an hour or so)
In a stock pot, over medium heat, cook the whole bird (you can cut it up to help it cook faster, but use the whole bird - skin & all) & garlic cloves in 3-4 quarts water (I just use the brining liquid + more water) with:
couple stalks celery (halved)
couple carrots (split)
1 very roughly chopped onion
Couple bay leaves
Handful each of parsley, basil & small sprig of rosemary
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Loads of love and good energy
and more garlic cloves if you're Italian ;o)

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked (about an hour), remove bird from broth & strain the broth with cheesecloth, then add only the broth back to the stockpot.

While the chicken cools, peel the casing off, break into bite size bits & lightly brown 1 lb sweet Italian sausage

Pull the chicken meat off the bones and chop the meat into coarse pieces
Add the sausage & the chicken to the broth in the pot.

Chop & add to pot:
1 or 2 zucchini
1 carrot (the other ones are already too mooshy - throw them out)
1/2 lb small brown Italian cremini mushrooms (if you can get them - if not, use any fresh mushroom)
1 or 2 diced roma or homegrown tomatoes (none of those pale grainy flavorless things, please!)
a few handfuls of pasta (farfalle looks pretty, but I was out & didn't want to go to town so I used penne this time)
tons of love and good energy

Let simmer until the pasta is cooked to your liking & finish with more fresh parsley.
Serve in a wide bowl with a scattering of freshly grated Parmesano and/or Romano and/or Reggiano and/or Asiago cheese and some lovely ciabbatta or foccaccia bread with butter or extra virgin olive oil. Accept no substitutes.

This zuppa pairs well with a very buttery drier white like Grgich Hills chardonnay (the white wine for red wine lovers) or a lighter dry red wine like a syrah.

Buon appetito!


Natalia said...

So I have been too busy. I suck as a blog visitor. But I think I might be back.

And that soup. OH MY WORD. YUMMERS!


Loving Annie said...

What, no invitation to dinner after showing us a recipe like that ????

Dr. Shedevil said...

Natalia, I've been sucking pretty hard as a blog visitor too. Sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging & that's okay.

Annie, typical of good Italian food, di zuppa just gets better over the next few days as it mellows in the 'fridge. C'mon over for lunch!

Jesska said...

Yummy! That sounds awesome. I'm going to have to try that. But I have a confession. I have never cooked a whole chicken in my life. I just use chicken breasts. Perhaps now that I'm all grown up and 30 I'll give it a try. lol