I guess it's time for a new IOTM, but here's one last one for One Pot Meals. I just made it up on the fly, so it's more of a procedure than a formalized recipe.
Polpettone in brodo
Thanks to a reliable source of fresh, quality ground veal at a reasonable price at Whole Foods, I've been making a lot of polpetti lately, trying to refine my technique to achieve such light veal meatballs that a squadron of angels will lift them up to heaven on silver salvers. Or something like that.
Anyway, one way to keep them light (and healthy) is to simmer them in broth rather than pan-frying, and this approach also makes a great dinner dish that's really too solid to be described as mere "soup."
I started with about 10 ounces of good ground veal, tossed very gently with salt and pepper and a homeopathic shake of Madras curry powder, not enough to make it taste like an Indian dish, just to add a haunting hint of exotic spice. Soaked a couple of sliced of good white bread (Pepperidge Farm), crusts removed, in just enough milk to soak them, about 1/4 cup. After a 20-minute soak, added the bread, 1 egg yolk and another homeopathic secret ingredient, about 1 tablespoon of Heinz Chili Sauce, gently stirring and folding the meat mix with two forks, making every effort to mix gently and lightly and avoid turning the meat into a compressed paste. Formed them into about two dozen smallish (3/4-inch?) polpettone and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan I sauteed 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic, about 1/2 cup roughly chopped onions and three stalks of celery, sliced, with a shake of dried red-pepper flakes until they started to brown, then added 3 or 4 cups chicken broth and about a teaspoon of tomato paste, not enough to make it "red" but only to enrich the color and add a hint of sweetness.
Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooking but still crisp-tender, then stir in 3 ounces soup pasta (I used pennette but would have chosen something smaller if I had it in stock). Increase heat, stir, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the pasta is nearly done. Gently drop in the polpettone, one at a time, taking care that the liquid isn't boiling hard enough to break them up, and simmer for about three to five minutes more or just until they cook through. It doesn't take long.
I might have dressed it with a little grated Parmigiano, but it didn't really seem to need that, so we saved the calories.