Though we can't gather in groups to celebrate special occasions as we did before, there's no reason why we shouldn't treat ourselves to the very dishes that make those occasions — well, special!
Right on cue, the queen of Italian comfort food is back with another fresh take on a classic dish. Giada De Laurentiis just reminded us that Italian wedding soup doesn't have to be associated with the stress that encompasses an actual wedding. This no-brainer, slow-cooker take on the timeless dish delivers elegant flavor — no dress-up required!
"Simmering for hours on end gives this soup a wonderfully flavorful broth and succulent meatballs," Giada wrote on Instagram.
The magic of this recipe is that a slow cooker does all of the work for you. To achieve a robust broth and tender meatballs, all that have to do is select a cook time of at least 4.5 hours. (By the way, did you know that slow cookers don't have to be plugged in?)
To get things started, add your low-sodium chicken broth of choice and a bay leaf to your slow cooker. This allows the light aromatic qualities of this leaf to fully develop and lighten up the base of your soup.
Once everything begins to simmer, it's time to start assembling your meatballs. Simple is almost always better, and Giada's take on this Italian staple requires only six ingredients. In addition to ground beef, you'll need the following: breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, oregano, parmesan cheese and salt. (FYI: Giada recommends using sirloin in order to create the juiciest meatballs possible.)
Cover the pot, and set it on high for four hours. For those who drink, here's your cue to pour a glass of wine (or two) before you kick up your feet as you cheer your slow cooker to the finish line.
Last but certainly not least, sprinkle in your pasta of choice. Though this recipe recommends ditalini, which is traditionally included in Italian wedding soup, elbow pasta works just fine, too. After 30 more minutes on high heat, you'll add in some greens for good fortune: spinach.
Serve your soup in bowls topped with additional parmesan cheese, if desired (yes, please!). The final result is a hearty and comforting dish guaranteed to make any cold weeknight a warm celebration. Full recipe here.
For more of our favorite recipes from Giada, check out:
- Giada De Laurentiis' cheesy Italian onion soup is the ultimate winter comfort food
- Giada De Laurentiis' creamy baked pasta is the ultimate comfort food
- Giada De Laurentiis' easy one-pot pasta is our new favorite weeknight recipe
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