Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Stracciatella Romana, Traditional Roman-Style Egg and Cheese Soup

A Roman-style soup made with meat broth, eggs and grated Pecorino cheese, although grated Parmigiano cheese is also often used. Stracciatella Soup is widespread in many other regions of Central Italy like Le Marche, Abruzzo and Emilia Romagna, although the Roman one is the best known since it originated in Rome. It is called Stracciatella because the beaten egg, when poured into the hot broth, congeals into many small lumps called ‘straccetti’, i.e. ‘torn’ or ‘strips’.

Variants from other regions add grated lemon peel and marjoram or as per Le Marche region, breadcrumbs are also added.

Stracciatella has a Christmas tradition, although today it is above all a winter comfort food that we also like to enjoy in the warmer season, whether eaten warm or cold. This recipe was born above all to recycle the broth, which is usually made from beef or poultry in cuts that are not too lean. The fat of the animal gives the broth lots of flavour and broth plus egg provided a good amount of protein and nutrition, which is why it is also given to babies for weaning.


Serves 4, Preparation 10 mins, Cooking 5 mins (if pre-made broth)

  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 80 g grated Pecorino Romano or grated Parmigiano cheese
  • nutmeg, a pinch
  • salt and pepper, a pinch
  • 500 ml of beef broth, pre-made or from scratch
  • A chopped sprig of fresh parsley

Method

In a bowl combine beaten eggs, grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmigiano), a pinch of salt, black pepper and nutmeg, chopped parsley and mix well everything. Set aside.

Tip: the making of meat broth from scratch takes about 2 hours, thus yes, the shortcut of ready-made meat broth is just ok if you like it or don’t have the time or feel like making it from scratch. You’ll just need to heat it up until it boils.

Prepare the beef broth using 500 ml of water and by adding beef cuts, carrot, onion, a tuft of parsley, a bay leaf and a couple of cloves, start cooking on a high flame, as soon as it boils lower it to the minimum and keep cooking it by half-covering the pot and letting it simmer for about 2 hours. Remove beef meat, and keep it aside – it will make for a great second meat course.

Skim off the fat from the broth, then finish cooking, add salt at the end, stir, then strain it through a fine-meshed sieve. Put the broth back into the pot and bring it to the boil. As soon as it comes to the boil, pour in the egg and cheese mixture you set aside, stirring for 1-2 mins and let it congeal to form lumps, stir and serve hot.

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