1 cup pastinior other small pasta like orzo, ditalini, alphabet, or stars
1tablespoonparmigiano reggianofreshly grated + more for serving
Make The Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. add the onion and garlic and sweat until the onions soften and the mixture is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat to cool.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine the ground pork, kosher salt, oregano, pepper, red pepper flake, egg, breadcrumbs, milk and parmesan. Add the cooled onion mixture and using clean hands, combine the pork mixture until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Scoop out meatball mixture by the teaspoon (I use a miniature ice cream/cookie dough scoop to keep the size consistent) and roll into balls. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through, but still soft and tender. Set aside.
Make The Soup:
In a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions and celery are slightly translucent and softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
Add the broth and bay leaf. Cover and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add the meatballs. Simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in the pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente -- according to package instructions, stirring occasionaly.
In a small bowl, combine the parmesan cheese and egg and whisk together until combined. Stir the soup to create movement and drizzle the egg, cheese mixture into the soup, this will produce loose strands of the egg/cheese amalgam. Stir in the fresh spinach and heat until the spinach wilts.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional parmesan cheese if desired.