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Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated nearly 30 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

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Italian Wedding Soup




ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP
Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

Serves 6-8

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup fine breadcrumb
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
olive oil, for frying
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 quarts beef stock, boiling
1 lb fresh spinach (washed, stemmed and drained)
1/2 lb orzo pasta
salt, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, nutmeg and 1/4 cup onion. Add the egg and ground meats and blend well with your hands. Shape into little meatballs, about 3/4 inch to one inch in diameter. Brown them in a little hot oil until they are well colored on all sides. Drain on a paper towel.

In the bottom of a large soup kettle or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the garlic and the onion slowly until they begin to disintegrate. Do not let them brown or burn. You may need to add a teaspoon of stock as they cook. Sprinkle the flour over the onion mixture and stir continuously as you make the roux. Stir until the flour turns a light brown. Pour the boiling beef stock into the kettle and bring to a boil, stirring to blend well. Add the pasta and the spinach and simmer until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasonings. Return the meatballs to the soup and heat through. Serve hot.

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