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Meatball Minestrone

Meatball Minestrone

1 pound ground sirloin
1 large egg
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons zinfandel
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups each beef broth and water
1 cup zinfandel
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (about 1 pound) kidney beans, undrained
2 medium carrots, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon each dried basil and oregano
1 cup small pasta shells
1 1/2 cups sliced cabbage
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

To prepare meatballs, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, wine, parsley, salt and pepper.
Shape mixture into walnut-size balls.
Heat oil in an 8-quart kettle over medium heat.
Add onion

Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes, or until onion is soft but not brown.

Add broth, water, wine and tomatoes.
Heat broth to a simmer.
Add meatballs to broth and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Add beans, carrots, zucchini, basil and oregano.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Stir in pasta shells and cabbage; cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.