While I did tweak the recipe a bit, it was a solid base for me to make an awesome soup, similar to what's served at some Olive Garden restaurants (notably, the one in Ross Park in Pittsburgh). I had about 2lbs of beef to use, so I doubled the meatball "stuff" (though I did sub about 1/4C cottage cheese for one of the eggs, simply because it needed to be used or tossed). I elected to use dried minced onion as opposed to fresh because my knife skills are lacking and can never seem to get a fine enough mince for my liking. Since I had so much meat, I used 3 cartons of stock: 2 chicken and 1 beef (I also added 2 packets of Swanson's Beef Flavor Boost). I began by sauteing about 1/4 of an onion and a spoonful of minced garlic in a dash of EVOO and then added the broth on high. I added the carrots as I diced them and then got to work on the meatballs, adding them as I rolled them (I was afraid I'd have too many meatballs, so I elected to bake some and freeze for even easier future soup). Once the meatballs were all added, I boiled the ancini de pepe (instead of the shells) in another pan (this is key or else the pasta will soak up all of the broth) while I chopped and added the spinach. Once the pasta was drained and rinsed, I added it to the soup, ladled it into bowls, topped w/fresh parmesan, and thoroughly enjoyed every last drop! THANKS for the jumping off point, Lalena!
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While I did tweak the recipe a bit, it was a solid base for me to make an awesome soup,...