One of the best parts of winter is this meatball tortellini soup. It combines two of our favorite things, stuffed pasta and our very popular Italian meatball recipe.
The correct name for the meatballs is actually vrasciole, a Calabrese word. That's because vrasciole are a Calabrian style meatball. They're traditionally shaped into low round logs or flat round disks and then fried until golden brown and crispy.
During the colder months we usually have a fire going so fry them in a cast iron pot full of olive oil over the fireplace. That's our favorite way to cook them. While they're still hot sprinkle with flakey salt and you have the perfect appetizer or side dish.
The magic of these meatballs is you can use the same exact recipe and put them in soup. As the boil they're released loads of flavor, melding with the vegetables and creating a beautiful broth.
How to Make Meatball Tortellini Soup
To make meatball tortellini soup first make the meatballs using this recipe. You can make them up to 48 hours ahead of time. We like to use half of the meatballs in the broth and the other half we fry in olive oil over the fireplace. Here are some tips for frying and cooking with olive oil.
For meatball tortellini soup you'll need broth or stock. You can make it from scratch or use store bought. Bouillon cubes also work if you're in a pinch. Fill a large pot of water with water and add fresh with onion, celery, and carrot. Add seasonings of your choice such as whole black pepper corns and rosemary. Season gently with salt to taste. Let the broth boil for at least 20 minutes to allow the vegetables to start to break down.
Gently add the meatballs to the broth and let them until tender. Don't turn up the heat too high while cooking them or they can fall apart. This isn't a sauce so there's no risk of them burning, a steady medium heat is best.
Boil the tortellini separately before boiling them with the broth. This will keep the broth from getting too starchy and allow the tortellini to absorb loads of flavor!
Serve the tortellini and broth in a bowl first. Then go back and serve up the meatballs. Don't forget to drizzle with your favorite extra virgin olive oil. This is the traditional way to eat primi and secondi during Italian meals. But if you mixed both on your bowl we won't tell. Buon appetito!
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