By Ina Garten - From Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

June 2021

Serves 6-8


  • ¾ lb ground chicken
  • ½ lb chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2/3 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup 1/4-inch-diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • ¾ cup 1/4-inch-diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 10 cups Chicken Stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup small pasta such as tubetini or stars
  • ¼ cup minced fresh dill
  • 12 oz baby spinach, washed and trimmed



  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place the ground chicken, sausage, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, Pecorino, Parmesan, milk, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork. With a teaspoon, drop 1 to 1 1/4-inch meatballs onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (You should have about 40 meatballs. They don’t have to be perfectly round).
  • Bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside. In the meantime, start the soup.
  • Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until softened, for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock and wine and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender. Add the fresh dill and then the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted.
  • Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra grated Parmesan cheese.