Thanksgiving seems to have once again crept up on me and it's "oh no, what am I cooking!?" time. With only two weeks to sort it out, it's time to call upon a holiday meal expert: Italian grandmother. Below is a staple at Nonna Teresa Petruccelli's Thanksgiving table and you'll find it in the pages of Rago's latest cookbook: Cooking with Nonna: A Year of Italian Holidays: 130 Classic Holiday Recipes from Italian Grandmothers.
Turkey Stracciatella Soup with Spinach can do double duty--Nonna Theresa serves it as a first course for Thanksgiving, but you could also make it after the holiday and use the turkey carcass. This soup also takes five minutes to prep--I thought this was a typo until I read through the recipe and realized 5 minutes is legit--so if you have five other dishes to work on, this is a great way to knock out that first course with minimal effort. Either way, it's light, soothing, and delicious...
Nonna Teresa Petruccelli-Formato’s Turkey Stracciatella Soup with Spinach
Nonna Teresa’s Italian-American Thanksgiving dinner usually features endless bowls of her classic Turkey Stracciatella soup as a first course. “I love it because its nice and light and doesn’t fill everyone up too much.” Nonna Teresa says of her famous soup that has become a longstanding tradition in her home. I don’t know about you, but to me there is something incredibly comforting about Stracciatella or Italian egg drop soup. Perhaps it’s because my own Nonna used to let me whisk the beaten egg into the hot broth with her. I would watch in amazement as little clouds began to form like magic and she would make me feel like quite the accomplished chef.
While you’re probably more familiar with a Stracciatella made from Chicken, Nonna Teresa’s variation packs in the flavor and gives a fun holiday twist to the dish. “Turkey is more of an American thing. It’s not really eaten much in Italy, but I started making the soup with it years ago and now it’s my family’s tradition. Isn’t it funny how that happens?” Indeed! This soup can either be made from fresh turkey pieces (you can ask your butcher for any soup pieces) but it’s also a great way to use leftover turkey from your holiday.
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
1 1/2 pounds turkey pieces on the bone
*you can also utilize the leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass
16 cups cold water
1 large white onion, halved
2 medium carrots, whole
2 celery stalks, broken in half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon salt
3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
5 oz baby spinach
If using fresh turkey pieces rinse them under cold running water.
Add the turkey and cold water to an 8 quart stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. As the pot comes to a boil skim any scum that comes to the surface with a spoon until all the scum has been removed and the pot has reached a rolling boil.
Add the onion, carrots, celery, 1/2 cup of the parsley and salt to the pot and lower the flame to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meat on the turkey begins to easily pull away from the bones.
Pour the broth through a strainer into a clean pot. Discard the onion, carrots and celery. You may shred any meat from the turkey with your hands and reserve for another recipe.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley until smooth.
Bring the broth to a boil and stream in the egg mixture while stirring.
Stir in the baby spinach and stir until wilted. Serve immediately with some taralli or crusty bread.
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