Polpette and Orzo in Broth

Polpette and Orzo in BrothRecipe
Photo: Randy Mayor
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.


6 servings (serving size: 4 meatballs, 1 cup broth, 2 teaspoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon parsley)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional 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


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


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

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.