For variations, hints and more recipes for this versatile dish, see sneakykitchen.com
- 1 recipe of your favorite meatballs from 1 lb lean beef, made very small
- 4 qts good chicken broth
- 2 med carrots, scrubbed and chopped
- 1 large stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped, or 2 tsp dried
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ tsp oregano, dried
- black pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 10 oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed
- 8 oz orzo, uncooked, or other tiny pasta
- Put the broth on to boil while you prepare the veggies.
- Add the carrots, celery, Onion, garlic, seasonings and lemon juice, but leave the salt for later.
- Bring to a full rolling boil, then turn down the heat and cook until the carrots are very tender.
- Add salt to taste.
- Squeeze the thawed spinach gently to remove excess liquid, and add with the Pasta.
- Bring back to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
- Add the meatballs and simmer gently until the Pasta is well done and the meatballs are hot.
- Extra cooking at a low simmer only improves this dish.
- Serve with crusty bread, and, if you like, a sprinkle of good Parmesan cheese.