As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Minestra Maritata is not a Wedding Soup. Rather it takes its name from the marriage of meat and vegetables. A highly successful union that creates an explosion of flavor in your mouth. This is fairly old news, though not nearly as old as the soup I’m sure.
In fact, Minestra Maritata predates the introduction of the tomato to Campania near the end of the 18th century and pasta, which found its way onto the Neapolitan table at the end of the 17th century.
Quickly becoming the staple of the Neapolitan diet, it gave rise to the moniker mangia maccheroni, maccaroni eaters. But before that, the Neapolitan diet was rich in vegetables and legumes and the Napoletani were known as mangia foglie, leaf eaters. And a leafy soup this is. In this case, the leaves from broccoli stems, broccoli di foglie which is something quite unique to Campania.
In other recipes you might find greens such as escarole, chicory or cabbage along with onions, carrots and celery.
Add to that a hardy dose of meat and chunks of fresh Italian cheeses.
Which ingredients you use is entirely up to you.
- 3 bunches of broccoli or other greens
- 17.64 oz beef
- 17.64 oz pork
- 8.81 oz of diced prosciutto crudo
- 3.52 oz of Pecorino Romano cheese
- 3.52 oz of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Baking soda
- Remove the leaves from the stems.
- Put the leaves into a sink of cold water and clean them well,
- Generously sprinkle baking soda into the water and let the leaves soak.
- Bring a large stock pot 3/4 full of salted water to a boil over high heat-
- Add the meat and prosciutto and turn the heat down to medium, cooking the meat at a slow rolling boil.
- Fill another large pot 1/2 full and add a pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- While the water is coming to a boil drain the greens in a colander and squeeze out the excess water with your hands.
- Add the greens to the boiling water and cook down until they are tender, about 1/2 an hour.
- Drain the greens and add them to the broth.
- Cut chunks of the Romano and Parmigiano into the broth.
- Add salt and stir through.
- Cook over medium heat at a slow rolling boil about 2 hours.