• Menietti in Vegetable Soup


Ligurian Dumpling Soup

By Andrew Zimmern

These little menietti dumplings are my new favorite recipe. I can’t stop making them. About a year ago my pal Jenn Louis, F&W 10 best designee and chef/owner of Lincoln in Portland, Oregon, sent me the ratio for the dumplings themselves. These little gems are from Liguria and are typically served in a broth with a little vegetable. I added some shaved Parmesan and was off and running. Jenn’s new book, Pasta by Hand, was just released in March and represents her tour of Italy in search of all things dumpling. It’s going to be one of the best of the year. Hands down.

Menietti in Vegetable Soup

Servings: 6

Total: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces frisée, dark green parts discarded, leaves torn (2 packed cups)
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (See my recipe below)
  • Pepper
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Chicken Stock

  • 10 pounds fresh chicken back, neck and wing bones
  • 3 diced carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 leek, greens trimmed and discarded, split and washed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 8 sprigs parsley
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half

Chicken Broth

  • 1 chicken, roughly 3 pounds, washed and dried.
  • 4 quarts chicken stock (see recipe above)
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 2 cups chopped onions, celery, and carrot


Make the Menietti

In a large bowl, combine the flour and a generous pinch of salt. Sprinkle the milk and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and, using a fork, mix to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough lightly until evenly moistened and then, using water to keep your hands moist, roll teaspoons of the shaggy dough between your palms to form 2-inch-long dumplings, a scant 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the dumplings to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leek, carrot, frisée and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Return the soup to a boil, add the dumplings and simmer over moderate heat until the dumplings are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the dumplings, broth and vegetables into shallow bowls. Drizzle olive oil on top, garnish with shaved Parmigiano cheese and serve.

Basic One Step, No Clarifying, Chicken Stock

Wash and pat dry the bones. Divide bones in half. Place one-half of the bones in a 350-degree oven on a sheet tray. Roast until browned, about 50-60 minutes.

Place 2 gallons cold water in a 4-gallon pot. Place all the bones, cooked and raw into the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring pot to the barest of simmers.

Lower heat to maintain a 200-degree temperature, but no movement of the stock. A few bare simmer bubbles means you are just short of boiling point. Keep steeping on stove for 36 hours.

After cooking, strain slowly, discarding solids and scum at the bottom of the pot. Cool, skim fat and strain again through cheesecloth. Refrigerate, freeze or utilize.

Chicken Broth

Place chicken in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken stock and vegetables. Bring to a slow boil, cover and cook for 90 minutes.

Kill heat, allowing chicken to sit in broth for 30 minutes.

Strain broth through cheesecloth, season with sea salt and utilize as broth for soups, stews etc.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill. 

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