The way to introduce your wedding meal is with a stylish starter and how more Italian can you get for a wedding in Italy than Italian Wedding Soup.  Zuppa maritata – ‘hitched’ soup as it translates literally – doesn’t have anything to do with weddings at all, really, it is just a bunch of ingredients that have been joined together for better or for worse and cooked like a minestroni, till death do they part.  And to tell you the truth, no authentic Italian bride and groom in their right mind would ever be caught dead with a soup as a starter on their wedding menu.
So this invented Italian wedding tradition is really a myth, but the recipes are not!  We like this one from in particular as it recalls the Roman ‘stracciatella’ or egg drop soup.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 egg
1/2 small onion, grated (about 1/3 C. grated)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 C. whole grain breadcrumbs
1/4 C. Parmesan, grated
1 – 2 T. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 lb. ground chicken breast

12 C. chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. escarole, sliced
1 egg
2 t. Parmesan
black pepper
1 lemon, sliced in wedges

In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and parsley. Stir to combine. Add the ground chicken and stir again to mix well.

Place a large pot over high heat and add the chicken broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil while you form the meatballs.

Using a one tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon, scoop the mixture and level it completely against the side of the bowl. Release the scoop in your hand and roll into a meatball. Place the meatballs on a large dish or a baking sheet. Continue until the mixture is done. You should have about 36 or so meatballs. (See Notes for a great tip!)

Once the broth has come to a boil, gently drop the meatballs into the pot then add the escarole. Cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar and allow the broth to return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, Parmesan and black pepper. Stream the mixture into the soup while whisking the broth to create threads of egg. Continue simmering for one or two more minutes.

Serve the soup in bowls with lots of freshly grated Parmesan and a wedge of lemon.

Buon Appetito!