from: Rachael Ray - 30 minute meals episode - "Italian Lunch Counter"
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta, diced (omitted)
1 medium-large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 heads escarole, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
2 quarts chicken stock
3 cups water
1 pound ground beef, pork and veal, meat loaf mix (I just used chop meat)
1 large egg
2 handfuls bread crumbs
A handful grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus some to pass at table
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon allspice (omitted)
A handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 cup mini penne or ditalini pasta (i used ditalini)
1 lemon, zested, for garnish
In a heavy bottomed soup pot heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions and 2 cloves of garlic and saute 4 to 5 minutes then add the escarole and wilt. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in beans, add stock and water and bring to boil.
While stock comes to a boil, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, milk, a handful of cheese, fennel, allspice, parsley, salt and pepper. Combine and roll into 1-inch balls, and add to the soup. Cook 2 minutes then add in pasta and cook 6 minutes more. Turn off the heat, garnish with lemon zest and serve with cheese passed at the table.