This delicious Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth is a perfect dinner soup! With tender meatballs, spinach and peas, all in a flavourful Parmesan broth.
I don't like to pick favourites, but let me just say that this soup was one of the most delicious soups I've enjoyed in a while. I guess I'm saying, if you're in the mood for soup, move this one to the top of your list!
It starts with lovely ground pork and ricotta meatballs, that are pan fried to golden. The ricotta in these produces meatballs that are beautifully tender. Add the broth and a good size chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and let it simmer just a bit. Throw in some peas and spinach, then spoon over egg noodles.
There is a lot to love about this soup, from the tender meatballs, to the bright greens and the noodles. The star perhaps though is the Parmesan broth. I think I could drink that broth out of a cup :) Delicious!
From start to finish, you can be enjoying this soup in about 45 minutes. It's a wonderful dinner soup, served along with a salad and a crusty bread to dip in the flavourful broth.
Cook's Notes for Pork and Ricotta Meatball Soup with Parmesan Broth
If you can, I recommend Parmigiano Reggiano parmesan cheese for this one. It's a bit more expensive, but worth it and will be the star of this dish.
While I haven't tried it, I suspect you could easily use ground chicken or turkey in place of the ground pork here.
Be sure not to simmer your broth with meatballs too vigourously. A very gentle simmer is best, to ensure your meatballs don't break.
You may be wondering if you can add the egg noodles to the soup (or cook the egg noodles in the soup). A couple of reasons why it's best NOT to go that route - if you simmer the cooked noodles with the broth, the starch in the noodles will make for a cloudy broth. If you have left-overs and the noodles are in the soup, the noodles will soak up all your lovely broth as they sit in the fridge. That would be a shame. So when all is said and done, you're best to simply spoon the hot soup over warm noodles, rather than combining them.
Again, I haven't tried this (yet), but I'm tempted to cook the meatballs quickly in a hot oven, instead of frying. I'm thinking 450F oven for 10-15 minutes, if anyone wants to try it :)
Pork and Ricotta Meatballs with Parmesan Broth
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (grated, plus more for garnish)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg (grated)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt (less if using fine salt)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 3-by-1-by-1 inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1 inch thick)
- 1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Warm cooked egg noodles
- Shaved, crumbled Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Start water boiling in a large pot for egg noodles.
- In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta and 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano. Add the egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg, salt, pepper and water. Add the pork and stir to combine well. Form into 15-18 approx. two-inch diameter meatballs.
- In a large pot (preferably non-stick), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook the bottom until well browned. Using a spoon, gently flip the meatballs over and brown that side well. Again, using a spoon, flip the meatballs on their sides and brown all sides to seal the meatball well. Pour in the broth and add the the piece of cheese. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the broth very gently, stirring once or twice (so the Parmesan doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan), until the meatballs are cooked through and the broth is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in the thawed peas and spinach. Taste, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the peas are warmed through.
- Meanwhile, cook egg noodles in boiling water per the package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Place some warm cooked egg noodles in the bottom of shallow bowls. Spoon the meatballs and broth over the egg noodles. Garnish with additional grated Parmigiano and serve.