I can't think of a soup that isn't more immediately comforting or easy. Sciusceddu is a festive Italian meatball soup with the lightest, most tender meatballs in a comforting creamy egg soup. It also comes together in around 20 minutes and is as easy as it is tasty! If you want something tasty and crowd pleasing for Easter or you just need some fast comfort food, this Sciusceddu is for you!
Sciusceddu originally comes from Messina in Southern Italy and is served during Easter celebrations. It is a simple dish, ridiculously so and consists of few ingredients like broth, mince, eggs and caciocavallo which is a teardrop shaped cow or sheeps milk cheese (but don't worry parmesan or pecorino does quite nicely in its place).
Sometimes it is then topped with a ricotta and egg white layer and then baked although my version is a simple one without the topping which seems to be quite common nowadays. I like adding fresh breadcrumbs to meatballs as it makes them super light and fluffy in texture. These few ingredients combine to form a massive bear hug in a bowl. If it's cold, windy or rainy then this soup is the tastiest antidote. In fact one theory about the name of this soup purports that it comes from the word sciusciare which means to "blow cool air".
I made this on a day that I was supposed to go out for a picnic with the Elliotts. It was Amaya's (Mr NQN's sister) birthday and we always have a picnic. But 2019 was the year I realised that there is something that I loathe, to a clinical level that I don't want any part of.
I hate the wind.
I loathe that big, blustery, cold wind (or warm wind) that blows you along, gets into your bones, freezes your ears and gives you a blinding headache. A gentle breeze is fine on a warm day but really, anything more than a whisper is traumatic. I know I'm coming over all Mariah Carey diva-ish but strong wind is ABUSIVE.
The Elliotts however love the wind and actually they love the elements. They're wild, sturdy hardy people. They practically lean into the wind (literally, he loves windsurfing and most of them sail). I am not. At 45 kilos I have actually been blown along a street by the wind.
As we were getting ready for the picnic I was already feeling sick. Mr NQN's mother Tuulikki had come to Mochi's memorial the day before and she was very sick and I caught it from her and I had an upcoming trip in a couple of days. I thought about my enemy - the wind. "I hope it's not too windy where they set up," I ask to Mr NQN as I was putting make up on. "Errrm..." he said worriedly and then looked up the beach which had basically no protection at all. As I said, the Elliotts really love the wind.
And that's how I ended up staying home one Sunday and making this soup while taking vitamins and hoping that I wouldn't get sick. While I felt bad at missing her birthday I also don't feel like people need to turn up to events or work when they are sick because they just end up making other people sick. And I spent the afternoon making this simple but absolutely delightful soup.
So tell me Dear Reader, how do you feel about the wind? What is your enemy in nature?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 4 cups chicken or beef stock
- 250g/8.8ozs. pork and veal mince
- 100g/3.5ozs. caciocavallo cheese, grated (provolone, parmesan or pecorino will also do)
- 70g/2.5ozs. fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs, whisked
Step 1 - Put the stock onto boil in a large cast iron pot. While it is heating up mix the mince, cheese, breadcrumbs, parsley and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. I take a little pinch and cook it and taste a little for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Step 2 - Shape the balls into small walnut shapes (I use a tiny ice cream scoop for consistency). Gently drop into the simmering broth and bring to a simmer and place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes.
Step 3 - Place the meatballs in the serving bowl and then add the whisked eggs into the soup stirring. It will look a bit creamy with some egg strands. Ladle the soup over the meatballs.