Italian Meatball Stew

Italian Meatball Stew

Meatballs:
2 pounds Ground beef/pork mix
2/3 cups bread crumbs
2/3 cups Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Italian seasonings
1 tsp basil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
Two eggs

Heat oven to 425°. Mix with hands until all ingredients are incorporated. Roll into balls, and bake for 30 minutes. 
While meatballs are baking, make the soup. 

Soup:

1 tbsp olive oil
Two stalks celery chopped  (I used all the leafy parts as not to waste them)
Three carrots diced
One small yellow onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup FCC Red & Green Blend
15 oz can of diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, oregano
15 oz can of tomato sauce
6 cups low sodium beef broth
Spoonful tomato paste
3/4 cups orzo pasta or small pasta shape of your choice; such as elbows
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Fresh basil leaves (I used four big ones)

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Sauté the carrots, celery, onion, bell peppers until soft. Add the garlic, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and red/green chiles—Cook for about a minute. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Add the meatballs and orzo and cook 7-10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Roll basil leaves up like a cigar and chop. Add to the stew. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty garlic bread. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Recipe by Michelle Renee Brown from the Fresh Chile Cookin' group.

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