(“little shreds” – soup is a wonderful winter favorite: light yet nourishing.) Ingredients for about 6 persons: Make 2-3 qts of a good chicken broth (see below).
Mix one beaten egg per person. Add about 2 T (a handful) per person of Parmesan to the beaten eggs, salt, pepper as needed – and if desired, lemon zest and/or a bit of grated nutmeg. Stir with fork, slowly pouring egg mixture into boiling broth, letting cook not more than 3 minutes. Serve… with additional grated Parmesan if desired.
The secret of a good stracciatella depends on the freshness of the eggs, the good flavor of the Parmesan, the art of the cook in obtaining a homogenous and light and airy egg/cheese mixture. Broth According to an old Italian saying “gallina vecchia fa un buon brodo” – an old hen is needed to make a good chicken broth (as you can simmer it longer without all the meat sliding off the bones) – so get one if you can… and if you can’t, any chicken will do! In the “old days” when Pino and I farmed, he would kill the rabbits, ducks, geese, guinea fowl we ate… then it would be up to me to gut the animals, pluck the birds. When a hen was passed her laying heyday, into the broth.
For chicken broth, we use about 2-3 qts. of water and then add the chicken wings, neck, back (head, feet, too! …nothing should be wasted), bringing it to a boil with a carrot, piece of celery, whole onion, lots of fresh parsley (our neighbor Peppa likes to add a potato to her broth).
Salt, pepper to taste. Broth is done when meat is tender. Vegetables can be passed in sieve when broth is done, then returned to broth. Often, about 1 lb of stew beef is included in the broth… and the bones from the beef which the butcher gives us. * Vegetarian? Make a vegetable broth… just delete the meat.