Italian Wedding Meatball Sandwich Beauty, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

"Italian Wedding Soup" Meatball Subs

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Contrary to its name, Italian wedding soup has nothing to do with traditional wedding nuptials, but the Italian phrase “minestra maritata,” which means married soup. But it's not the marriage we think of, it’s actually referring to the marriage of the ingredients and the flavor it produces. I’ve taken the best elements of Italian wedding soup and turned them into a sub sandwich loaded with flavor.



Sautéed Escarole:



  1. For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate to let cool, reserving the pan for later use.
  3. In a small bowl, add the breadcrumbs, half-n-half and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine; set aside as you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, add the beef, sausage, veal, egg, cheese, parsley, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the reserved onions and the panko-milk mixture (known as a “panade”). Using your hands, mix thoroughly. Roll the meat mixture into 16 meatballs (about 2 ounces each) and place them evenly spaced on the prepared sheet pan. Bake the meatballs until cooked through and lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes.
  5. For the escarole: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add enough salt so it tastes similar to broth. Drop in the escarole and let cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. While the escarole is cooking, heat the oil, garlic and chile paste in the reserved pan over medium-low heat until the garlic starts to take on a slightly golden color, about 1 minute. Drain the escarole and add it to the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high. Toss to combine, season with salt and continue cooking an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Assemble the sandwiches: Heat the broiler on low. Arrange the rolls cut side up on a separate sheet pan. Stuff each roll with 4 meatballs. Spoon pesto on top of the meatballs, then top each sandwich with 2 slices of provolone. Place the subs under the broiler to toast the buns slightly and melt the cheese.
  8. Remove the subs from the broiler and top with sautéed escarole and grated Parmesan.