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Minestra Stracciatella (Italian Spinach Soup)
Argentina and Italy Do Lunch
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Nutritional Information


Recipe List

Minestra Stracciatella (Italian Spinach Soup)

  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 eggs or, 6 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmaggiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 large fresh basil leaves, torn in bits
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmaggiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
  • Fine extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Argentine-inspired Foccacia

  • 3 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/4 finely diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves, crushed with fingers\
  • 2 tsp dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp white Balsamic or wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Extra olive oil, for rising, and serving

Cooking Instructions

Minestra Stracciatella (Italian Spinach Soup)

  • In blender, puree spinach leaves with water
  • Place in large saucepan with broth, and heat until boiling. 
  • Reduce heat slightly. In bowl, whisk eggs/egg whites, grated cheese, and herbs until well blended. 
  • Stirring soup in a circular motion, gradually drizzle in the egg mixture, and allow blend to render ribbon-like pieces. 
  • Reduce heat to simmer, for about 10 minutes. 
  • Serve at table with additional cheese and fine olive oil for drizzling to finish, if desired. 

Argentine-inspired Foccacia

  • Sift flour with salt, cayenne, paprika into large mixing bowl. 
  • Stir in onion, garlic, oregano. 
  • Combine yeast well with water, add vinegar and oil. 
  • Pour onto flour mound, mix with clean hands until dough is manageable and can be formed into a soft ball. 
  • Add flour or water as needed; to get this perfectly may take practice, but this recipe works very well for basic proportions.
  • Remove dough from bowl, and “oil” bowl generously with olive oil. 
  • Place ball in center of bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, in draft-free space for at least one hour.
  • Using well-oiled cast-iron skillet - or well-oiled pizza pan/flat baking surface, transfer risen dough into pan for baking. 
  • Allow a “second rise” if time allows, about 30-60 minutes, then preheat oven to 450F.
  • Place pan in center of oven, and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. 
  • Bread is ready when it can be easily lifted from its pan and is browned on the bottom; increment baking times by about 3 minutes until done.
  • Let cool slightly before cutting into squares or wedges. 
  • Drizzle with extra olive oil, to serve, if desired.
** Mr Marcel at the Original Farmers Market has the most sublime jams and jellies in the land. Please buy your apricot jam there!

It’s fun when two world food cultures meet on one plate.

It’s fun when two world food cultures meet on one plate. At least I think so. Especially when they play nicely and are really compatible, in a seriously delicious way.

When I was Tapas Chef at BarComida, on many nights my blackboard menu was inspired accordingly. I offered Spain meets Italy, for a pizza ~ Spanish pimiento-goat cheese, piquillo peppers, and grilled Chorizo Bilbao slices, tucked beautifully into handmade Italian pizza dough, baked to order.

France and Spain share a salad was something like toasty Brie croutons on top of a bed of mache lettuce, tossed with Marcona almonds and creamy Spanish sherry vinaigrette.

These whimsical titles and concepts went over very big, for the record! Hold that thought, I promise to make more sense of it, coming up shortly here.

Lisa and I recently met to divine new creative ideas with our resident Art Director, LuAnn Roberto, of 411 Graphics. At the end of all of our brilliant afternoon brainstorming, we Italian girls were hungry for dinner.

I for one, was craving a really great bowl of (ideally minestrone) soup to warm up, considering I haven’t been this cold on a daily basis in 100 years. We landed at Orlando’s, a fabulous corner spot, and Stracciatella, an Italian spinach soup with freshly-grated Parmiaggiano and egg, was their fresh soup. It was perfection in a bowl. I had to come home and make my own!

a collection of a bunch of different soups

My rendition of just about anything needs bread alongside, and I had an idea immediately.

Baking is a constant craving for me when it’s cold and gloomy outside, and to have aromatic bread baking while soup is prepared .... is just evidence that we live in a kind and benevolent Universe because, clearly, such bliss is possible.

Stracciatella is a mild, fairly delicately flavored soup, depending how bold you go with the grated cheese ... our friends at Orlando’s were a little heavy-handed with it but, we did not complain! My version here invites your adding more or less of anything you’d like - cheese, salt, pepper, extra olive oil ... I personally like it mildly-seasoned so that this upcoming companion bread gets its fair share of attention, especially as a dipper.Argentine foccacia skillet

During the World Cup 2014, I found a recipe for a spicy Argentine bread that I adapted as foccacia, and served it to celebrate Argentina’s reign into the Final. Even after they lost to Germany, it was still popular on my cheese and charcuterie plates.

One Sunday morning at home for breakfast, I toasted a leftover piece and ate it with an extraordinary apricot jam** and it about blew my mind. Apricot jam is not typical accoutrement for this peaceful international lunch plate, but I’d be remiss if I kept that a secret. (I highly recommend it.)

Buon appetito! (Italian)

Disfruta! (Spanish; Lo siento, I don’t have an Argentine dialect expression!)

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