Italian Wedding Soup

T and I were recovering from a cough and cold that left us worn, so we looked to an Italian Wedding Soup to soothe our throats and bones. Rolling the little meatballs, swirling in the eggs and cheese, and finally, slurping up the hot broth was just what the doctor ordered.

Italian Wedding Soup
From Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis, with minor edits and additions

Ingredients

Meatballs:
1 small onion, grated or finely diced
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or another hard aged cheese (we used Pecorino Romano)
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
Freshly ground black pepper

Soup:
12 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped (we used baby spinach)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan or another hard aged cheese, plus extra for garnish
1 cup orzo or another small pasta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet.

To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the orzo, meatballs, and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes (if you use spinach, add in the last minute, as it cooks quickly). Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.

T, the Pilot

This weekend we celebrated T’s birthday with a flight lesson! I had to let him in on his present earlier in the week so he could read up beforehand, and this Saturday evening I rode along as he flew around the city.

It was thrilling to watch T maneuver the plane up and down the length of Manhattan; he was such a natural and I was beaming the entire time :)

We took off at around 8pm and were treated to a beautiful sunset. It was the perfect weather for flying.

The view from the passenger window was pretty spectacular. We were so close to all the skyscrapers; it felt like I could reach out and touch them! Also, one of the best parts was listening to the flight communications: “Hudson Traffic: this is Cessna 172 Skyhawk at 1,200 feet. Passing the Intrepid. Northbound.” It was just like the movies :)

Happy birthday, T! I adore being your co-pilot.

Brunch with YTKK

Brunch was especially wonderful today, as I got to share it with these gorgeous folks.

Tomomi and her husband, Yoshi.

Their kids, Kai, resident entomologist, and Kako, twirling extraordinaire.

When I asked if Kako took a dance class, Yoshi nodded and responded, “Yes, but she doesn’t follow along; she likes to make up her own moves.” Ah, a girl after my own heart.

Northern Catskills

This past weekend T and I headed upstate, where we rented a charming little cabin in the Northern Catskills. Have you ever been that way? It was so lovely; I can’t recommend visiting enough. Here are a few memories we made along the way.

On the drive up, we stopped in the town of Saugerties and shared a delicious shortcake overflowing with ripe strawberries at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen.

Okay okay. I didn’t really share :)

We made a few friends with manes…

…and maybe a few enemies with udders.

Speaking of animals, can you spot the black bear?

The Catskills and Hudson Valley are dotted with darling little towns that we loved ambling around in. We couldn’t make it to all of them, but a couple standouts were Tannersville (it’s got a cool hippie vibe and sits on the edge of Rip Van Winkle Lake, which is so fun to say!), and Hudson (it’s right on the river and seems to have six antiques shops on every block).

Tannersville’s Last Chance is a tavern, antiques store, cheese shop, and restaurant, all-in-one. They have a fantastic selection of beers and make some of the best pulled pork around.

I loved the little whales on Hudson’s street signs.

On Sunday, we went canoeing on North-South Lake.

During our walk to the boat launch, a couple of kids introduced us to a dinosaur :)

Perhaps my favourite part of the whole trip though, was admiring Haines Falls.

Do you have a favourite getaway memory? I’d love to hear!

Spaghetti with burrata, parmigiano, and butter

Yesterday was one of those perfect New York spring days, where the entire city seems to come out of hibernation: flowers peek out from buds, and buds from branches; whole families take to the parks and streets to stretch their legs, stripping off layers as they walk; even the air feels like it’s testing out new wings, first with cool breezes, then easing into a still warmth that flushes your skin.

I spent most of the day basking in the sun on my friend’s rooftop, sipping sweet hibiscus tea over ice; it was glorious.

By the early evening, when I returned home, I wanted nothing more than to collapse onto my couch, contentedly worn out from doing absolutely zilch. ZeroNada. Yet, somehow, I threw together a few ingredients I had on hand and made what is now, quite possibly, my new favourite ‘school night’ meal. Simple, easy, and restorative — just like spring.

Spaghetti with burrata, parmiagiano, and butter
Serves 4

This is a one-pot-wonder that you may customize this any way you please. I tossed in some broccoli florets, spinach, and a couple of canned roma tomatoes, roughly chopped, just to get some veggies in there — but the beauty of this meal is that you can add just about anything you’d like. Feel free to experiment with pastas and cheeses, too. Next time, I think I’ll try orecchiette and pecorino.

Ingredients:
3/4 pound of spaghetti, or other dried pasta
1/2 pound burrata cheese, halved, creamy filling scooped out (reserve the firmer exterior for another use)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of fresh, coarsely ground pepper
2 cups broccoli florets (optional)
2 cups baby spinach (optional)
10 oz canned roma tomatoes, roughly chopped or diced (optional)
salt to taste
zest of one lemon

Directions:
Cook spaghetti in lightly salted water until just tender, but firm to bite (al dente). I threw in the broccoli with the pasta during the last two minutes of boiling time, and the spinach in the last 30 seconds — no sense using a whole new pot. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid. Drop the butter, cheeses, and pepper into the pasta, tossing until well combined. Add reserve liquid if dry. Salt to taste. Spoon the spaghetti into bowls. Dot the pasta with the creamy burrata filling. Garnish with lemon zest.

Today, I am…

I returned to a mild and sunny city this morning, after spending a leisurely long weekend with family and friends up north. The skies were clear on our descent, as were the roads into Manhattan, and my world felt calm and steady for the first time in weeks.

To fete this small act of grace, I treated myself to an apple butter bombolone from Sullivan Street Bakery, slung my headphones over my ears and played the best Sade cover, ever, and finally purchased the gorgeous Lizzy Stewart illustration that I’ve been eyeing for ages.

Here’s to more Tuesdays like this. xo

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