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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Minestra Maritata Recipe | The REAL Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup is a derivative of minestra maritata, so called because the soup "marries" the flavors of meat and leafy greens. The soup takes some time to make, so we recommend beginning the day before you intend to serve it!

Minestra Maritata | The Original "Italian Wedding Soup"

Don't feel particularly bound by the ingredient amounts below, there is quite a bit of leeway here.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

For this recipe, you will need:

- 1 lb (450g) beef short ribs

- 1/2 lb (225g) beef stew meat, preferably in one large chunk

- 1/2 red onion, peeled

- 2 celery stalks, halved

- 1/2 large carrot, cut into 4-5 pieces

- 8-10 sprigs of fresh parsley

- 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns

- 1/2 lb (225g) pork feet

- 2 Italian sausages

- 1 lb (450g) pork riblets

- 1/2 lb (225g) pork rind

- 2 cloves garlic, peeled

- 1 chili pepper, sliced

- 1/2 oz (16g) guanciale, cubed

- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1/3 large cabbage, chopped

- 1 endive, chopped

- Approximately 1 lb (450g) each of:

- Dandelion leaves, chopped

- Tuscan kale leaves, chopped

- Broccoli rabe leaves, chopped

- Swiss chard, chopped

- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind, scraped clean (optional)

- Salt

- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for topping

Place the beef ribs, stew meat, onion, 1 celery stalk, carrot, half the parsley, and the peppercorns in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with water (about 6 liters).

Meanwhile, place the remaining meat into another pot and fill with enough water to cover it by 1 inch. Add the remaining celery and parsley.

Cover both pots and bring them to a gentle boil. Cook for 90 minutes. Using tongs, transfer all the pork meat into the beef pot and continue to cook for a further 90 minutes. The pork broth can be discarded.

Turn off the heat and let the soup cool completely to room temperature. This can take a while, we recommend letting it sit overnight.

Meanwhile, add the garlic, chili pepper, guanciale and olive oil into a large sauté pan or wok over medium heat. After a few minutes, the guanciale's fat will turn transparent. Add all of the vegetables, sauté for 2-3 minutes, then cover and let them steam until completely wilted.

Salt the greens to taste, turn off the heat, and set aside at room temperature for later.

After the soup has cooled completely, use a spoon to skim off all of the fat that has risen to the broth's surface. Remove the meat with tongs into a bowl or onto a cutting board. Strain the remaining broth through a fine mesh sifter into a new pot.

Debone, clean and chop the meat. Remove any fat or gristle you don't want, but be sure to keep the skin from the rind and pig feet! The sausages can be sliced.

Place the chopped meat and the cooked vegetables back into the broth, along with a chunk of Parmigiano rind if you have it, and bring to a gentle boil.

Cook for 30-35 minutes before serving, topped with grated Parmigiano. Well done and buon appetito!

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sabrina collins
sabrina collins

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Matt Dobbins
Matt Dobbins

does the skin from the rind and pig's feet get chopped up and used in the soup? or do you hang onto it for other purposes; other recipes?

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