Cheesy ziti meatball and soup….. come on!!! If I were to take every keyword search associated with “‘ what to eat in cold weather” I couldn’t have found a more perfect meal option. Four amazing ingredients mixed together into your new perfect dinner. Even better it combines one of my prior recipes for the meatballs themself so you might actually have some stored there in your freezer. If you don’t, jump to this link here first and whip up a batch, you’ll have enough for this soup and enough to freeze for later.
Once the meatballs are finished, these will be the remainder of your ingredients:
• Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
• 1 onion, roughly chopped
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried parsley
• Pinch salt
• Pinch black pepper
• Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
• 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
• 1 (28 ounces)can crushed tomatoes
• 6 cups warm chicken stock (I like Better Than Bouillon to make my stock)
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni, cooked according to package instructions
• Grated mozzarella cheese (about ¼ cup per serving, so about 2 cups total)
Preparing the soup:
-Saute the onion, scraping up the good bits from the meatballs as much as possible; add in the dried basil, oregano, and parsley, plus a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using), and stir for a couple of minutes until things soften.
-Add in the garlic and stir that to combine, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the tomato paste, and stir to incorporate that in, about 30 seconds or so; add in the red wine to deglaze (if using), and after about 20 seconds, add in the whole tomatoes and the chicken stock.
-Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes; then add the meatballs into the soup, and bring it back to a gentle simmer; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes to allow the meatball flavors to release into the soup.
Putting it all together
-To serve, add ½ cup of the cooked rigatoni to a bowl, and ladle in some of the soup (about 1 ½ cups) along with 4 meatballs; top with about ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese, place under the broiler for a minute to melt and slightly brown the cheese.
Prepare for deliciousness to ensue! Your taste buds may explode!