Thursday, October 23, 2008

What's for Dinner?

We've all been there before. You wake up in the morning with the thought that you hope to make today very productive and organized. You think that perhaps you should decide on what you will be having for dinner in the morning to be able to cross that item off of your list. Nothing really comes to mind, but it is still early, so you put it off until later. Lunchtime rolls around and you remember that you still need to come up with something for dinner. Again, it is still early, no problem. And then about 4:30 in the afternoon, you realize that you have completely forgotten about what to plan for dinner. You actually begin to break out into a slight sweat because now you know that the pressure is on. It is only a matter of minutes, maybe seconds, before someone walks into the kitchen with the age old question, "what's for dinner?" There is no answer to that question because you haven't planned anything. Time to fall back on an old standby, and calmly answer the question as if you had known all along what would be for dinner. Sometimes in our house the answer is Pasta and Meatball Soup. It is a recipe from one of my nieces that we got out of a great cookbook entitled, "Hot Providence". This is another of my cookbooks that gets pulled down from the shelf on a regular basis. So just in case you need a standby meal for those nights when you dread hearing the question that you have no answer to, the recipe follows:

Pasta & Meatball Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 T. milk
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t. marjoram
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 egg

2 T. oil
1 onion
1 carrot, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 package corkscrew pasta
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
3 cups water
1 t. salt
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. rosemary
1 (28 oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes
1/4 t. pepper
Grated Parmesan or mozzarella cheese

To prepare meatballs: mix ingredients and form into round 1 inch balls. In soup pot cook the meatballs on medium/high heat until browned all around. Drain on paper towels. Save drippings.

To prepare soup: In the drippings cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, salt, spices, and bay leaves. Break up tomatoes. Add meatballs. Over high heat bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer 30 minutes and stir in pasta. Cook for 10 more minutes. Stir in spinach. Cook 5 minutes and garnish with cheese. Serve.

1 comment:

Ashley and Jessica said...

This recipe is delicious. Perfect for the nights that you have no idea what to fix for dinner but still want to be impressive. I know this is true because I have made it before! Most of the time when we ask you, you seem to know what we are going to have for dinner--you should not have admitted that some times you don't know until late in the day! :)