Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

TOTAL TIME: 30 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 10 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings (about 60 mini meatballs)
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
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      Directions

      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

      In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.
      Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure), form the chicken mixture into 3/4-inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.

      In a large (14-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl and add the Parmesan. Toss to lightly coat orecchiette, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of the basil. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil.

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      4

      Newest Ratings and Reviews

      Read all 4 reviews

      • on March 11, 2014

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        Really good and a nice variation from the usual red sauce. I used one pint of grape tomatoes and 1 can of diced. No way this makes 60 meatballs unless they are truly pea sized. Will definitely keep this in rotation.

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      • on October 15, 2013

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        Love this recipe and its a hit at home.

        4 cups of cherry tomatoes is a lot of cherry tomatoes which can be expensive. When in season and locally available, I use them, but otherwise I just used canned diced tomatoes drained.

        My meatballs are just a little bigger. Making them as described can be very tedious. BTW, this is a great generic meatball recipe that I've used with pork and beef.

        Finally, I use a little less stock -- just a little over 1 cup.

        It takes me more than 20 minutes of prep time but once you make the meatballs it goes very fast.

        people found this review Helpful.
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      • on October 12, 2013

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        I love this recipe, it's simple and easy but the flavor has everyone thinking you spent all day making it.

        people found this review Helpful.
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