Veal Dumplings with Escarole in Broth

Total Time:
40 min
20 min
Inactive Prep:
20 min
4 servings


  • 2 slices good-quality white bread
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground veal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • About 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola dolce
  • About 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 10 to 12 medium fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or made into a paste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • 1 head escarole
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 bag extra-wide egg noodles
  • Lemon zest, for serving


Soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl to soften.

Put the ground veal in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a few grates of nutmeg. Add the gorgonzola, Parmigiano-Reggiano, sage, garlic and egg. Squeeze the liquid from the bread and crumble it into fine crumbs between your fingertips as you add it to the veal mixture. Drizzle in a little EVOO and gently mix until combined.

Keep a bowl of warm water on hand for rolling the meatballs or use a 2-ounce scoop. Roll or scoop the meat mixture into balls, moistening your hands if not using a scoop, and place on a baking sheet or large plate.

Coarsely chop the escarole into 2-inch pieces.

Bring the stock and 2 to 3 cups water to a low boil in a wide pot. Add the meatballs and simmer until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the escarole during the last minute or 2 of cooking and stir until wilted.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a few grates of lemon zest.

Cook's Note: The soup, without the noodles, can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Add the noodles before serving.