La Vera Cucina

Catherine’s Wedding Soup

Fifty years ago with the help of his parents Phillip and Catherine, restaurateur Giacomo (Jim) Adornetto opened his first pizzeria on Maple Street in Zanesville, OH. Over the decades, not only has Adornetto’s Pizza steadily grown in popularity and size, but the Adornetto family has also expanded their business to include The Old Market House Inn, serving Italian favorites, and an Italian bakery appropriately named Giacomo’s.

Here Jim shares his mother’s recipe for Wedding Soup. While Catherine’s recipe includes homemade chicken broth and the traditional tiny peppercorn shaped pasta, Ancini di Pepe, it replaces the tiny meatballs found in many versions with uniquely tangy droplets of Romano cheese. Enjoy!



  • 1 large chicken (about 5 pounds)
  • 4 small onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 large carrots, halved
  • 3/4 stalk celery
  • 1/3 cup chicken base
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 2 large heads curly endive, cut into large pieces
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Ancini di Pepe pasta (or orzo)


Place chicken in 8-quart saucepan. Add onions, carrots, celery and chicken base. Cover chicken with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove chicken from saucepan, remove breast meat; cube and refrigerate. Return remaining chicken to saucepan. Add marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Strain soup. Cover soup stock and refrigerate. Once soup is cold, skim off and discard chicken fat.

Combine egg whites and cheese; knead until cohesive, adding a little more cheese if needed. Scoop or roll into 1/2-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate. Combine endive and a quart of water in large saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until tender. Drain.

Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until almost al dente; drain. Return chicken stock to saucepan. Add cooked endive, reserved chicken breast meat and cooked pasta. Bring to a boil; add cheese balls and cook briefly. Serve immediately. Makes about 4 quarts of soup.