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Polpette and Orzo in Broth

Photo: Randy Mayor
Yield 6 servings (serving size: 4 meatballs, 1 cup broth, 2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon parsley)
Spaghetti and meatballs (polpette) were a midcentury hit, but these lighter, truly Italian staples are lovely en brodo, or in broth. Serve with some crusty bread and a green salad.

Ingredients

  • 3 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice Italian bread
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh onion
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 cups hot cooked orzo (about 1 cup uncooked rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Nutrition Information

  • calories 337
  • caloriesfromfat 19 %
  • fat 7.2 g
  • satfat 3.2 g
  • monofat 2.5 g
  • polyfat 0.5 g
  • protein 28.9 g
  • carbohydrate 36.6 g
  • fiber 2.1 g
  • cholesterol 53 mg
  • iron 4.1 mg
  • sodium 823 mg
  • calcium 165 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring broth to a simmer in a Dutch oven (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

  2. Soak the bread in milk for 5 minutes, and squeeze moisture from the bread. Combine the bread, beef, minced onion, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Shape mixture into 24 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs. Add meatballs and carrot to broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in orzo, and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons parsley.