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Abruzzo. Broth of thistles with “pallottine” (little meatballs), the tastiest recipe for Christmas

The broth of thistles with meatballs is part of the Abruzzo Christmas tradition. It is a very tasty and substantial dish, which makes it perfect to be prepared during the winter season. It is made with chopped thistles in chicken broth, adding beaten eggs, meatballs. The preparation is not so immediate given by difficulties for the cleaning of the thistles and for the preparation of the chicken broth, but it will certainly be a dish that will give great satisfaction to those who prepare it and who will taste it.

First of all, get these ingredients:

For the broth and thistles

  • 800 g thistles already cleaned
  • 1/2 chicken already cleaned
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 5 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • Salt to taste.
  • water q.s.

For the meatballs:

  • 250 g minced veal
  • 125 g of stale bread crumbs
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 25 g grated parmesan
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 handful chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil to taste
  • Salt to taste.

Follow this process

Prepare about 3 liters of water quickly in which you will immerse the hen and cook for at least two and a half hours. When the broth is cooked, proceed with the boning and breaking of the hen and put its meat aside. Now is the time to prepare the meatballs by mixing the meat, bread, eggs, parmesan, garlic and parsley well with your hands. Set them aside.

Now, using a colander, filter the chicken broth well and place it in a saucepan. Now add the pieces of meat and cook for about a quarter of an hour, while you will boil the meatballs for a few minutes, a few at a time in a little water.

At this point add the thistles already cleaned and cut into small pieces into the broth and continue cooking for another 10/15 minutes until the thistles themselves are tender. At this point, add the meatballs and after waiting for 10 minutes, add the beaten eggs, grated Parmesan cheese and salt. Stir quickly and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Proceed to serve the soup hot, but not too hot. Photo by

Roberto De Ficis

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