The Edible Bracket 2011

Last year's winners of the MNCAAPG Best Bracket contest are back. This March Madness season, we will be documenting foods associated with the competing schools. Consider it March Madness, Top Chef Edition.

University of Pittsburgh “Pitt” Panthers (Pittsburgh, PA): Pittsburgh (Italian) Wedding Soup

Pitt_wedding soup

Some things Anna learned from trying to find a food that epitomizes Pitt: 1) Italian Wedding Soup is frequently known as Pittsburgh Wedding Soup (in the Steel City, at least); 2) Wedding soup (of both the Pittsburgh and Italian variety) is not actually served at weddings, but instead is a mistranslation of minestra maritata, which means “married soup” in Italian, and apparently refers to the fact that the green vegetables and the meat go well together; 3) Wedding soup is actually pretty delicious.

Laura asks: “Why did we not just take a picture of us eating a fruit with a pit in it?”

Pittsburgh/Italian Wedding Soup

from the kitchn

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan/Romano mix
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp. salt
several turns of black pepper
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 diced yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken stock
1 bunch of kale, torn up into smaller pieces

Mix together meat, bread crumbs, 1 eggs, 1/2 cup of cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.  Once mixed together, form into small meatballs (around 25).

Heat oil over medium-high heat and add meatballs until they are browned on all sides.  (They will still be pink on the inside.)

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil over medium-high heat.  Saute onion and garlic until both are soft, but not yet brown.  Add stock and bring mixture.  Add greens, reduce heat, place cover on pot and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the meatballs and cook several minutes more (making sure the meatballs are cooked through).

Combine 2 eggs and 1/2 cup cheese in a small bowl and stir together.  Pour mixture into the hot soup while stirring.  Cover and simmer about a minute, until the egg is cooked.  Season with salt and pepper.

Here’s a picture of the mostly cooked meatballs.  Note the wedding invitations in the background.

pitt_meatballs