This simple, centuries-old Italian dish of broth, semolina and cheese is a light and classic version of a Roman-style egg drop soup.
From the Italian stracciatelle meaning “little shreds,” stracciatella is a comforting, home-style brothy soup with the cooked egg strands responsible for its name. Fine semolina flour and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese serve to thicken the stock, which is very simply seasoned with only a few minimum additions. Some versions can be made heartier by adding spinach or kale, or any combination of fresh herbs.
Any meat stock will do but this recipe introduces the idea of brown chicken stock instead of beef. Prepared identically, the difference between regular and brown chicken stock is that the bones used in making the broth should be oven-roasted first, and a spoonful of tomato paste is added along with the traditional aromatic flavorings. The result is a slightly stronger, a little darker stock than usual.
The simplicity of this soup lends itself to many variations: Of course, regular chicken stock or beef broth can be used just as well. Small amounts of herbs can be included instead of parsley, and spinach, chard, arugula or any other greens work very well to bulk up this dish. Toasted breadcrumbs, rice or orzo pasta can also be added.
This dish is light and gentle and works best as an appetizer, or as a warm medicinal for the ill. Serve it with a rustic bread loaf or toast.
Stracciatella alla Romana
4 c brown chicken stock
2 T semolina flour
2 T Parmesan cheese
1 Bring the stock to a low boil. Finely chop the parsley and stir into the stock along with the flour and cheese. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 min, and season to taste.
2 In a separate dish, whisk the eggs and then drizzle them into the stock while stirring vigorously.