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Meatballs and Rice in Broth

Rachael creates her version of Italian Wedding Soup with a mixture of mini meatballs, rice pilaf and escarole simmered in chicken broth.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup orzo
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 8 cups chicken stock or broth (64 ounces), divided
  • 3/4 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • About 1/3-1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or pasted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
  • 1 small head escarole, chopped


In a saucepot with a tight-fitting lid, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the orzo and toast to deep golden in color and fragrant. Stir in the rice; add about 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 18 minutes until the rice is just tender, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of water as needed if the rice begins to stick.

Bring the remaining 6 cups stock plus 2 cups water to a boil in a soup pot. Reduce the heat to a low, rolling simmer.

Season the meat with salt and pepper; add the ricotta, season with a little freshly grated nutmeg and add the breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, grated cheese and EVOO; mix to combine. Use a small scoop to roll 24-30 walnut-size balls. Add the meatballs to the broth and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Wilt in the greens and turn off the heat; let stand for 2 minutes and serve in shallow bowls.

This is one of many “Yum-o!” recipes – it’s good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael’s nonprofit organization, visit

Rachael Ray