Alphabet noodles are fun, but any small-sized pasta will work. Brown the meatballs first to add flavour to the stock – to make it brothier, add a cup or two of water. canola or olive oil, for cooking.
1–2 fresh Italian or chicken sausages
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken stock
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) alphabet or other small pasta
1 egg (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
couple handfuls of fresh baby spinach (optional)
1. Set a medium–large pot over medium–high heat and add a drizzle of oil. Squeeze the sausage from its casing into the pot at about half inch intervals, creating little meatballs. Roll them around in the pan to brown.
2. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the carrot and pasta and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the pasta is tender.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and Parmesan cheese; drizzle into the hot soup, stirring gently so that it doesn’t completely blend in, but cooks in strands. Throw in the spinach and cook for another minute or two, until it wilts.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
PER SERVING (made with 1 tsp. canola oil):
239 calories, 13 g fat (4.7 g saturated fat, 6.2 g monounsaturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat), 13 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 31 mg cholesterol, 0.6 g fibre.