- 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
- 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 Tbs. whole milk
- 1 Tbs. ketchup
- 3/4 cup grated romano cheese
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. ground chicken or ground turkey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups hot low-sodium chicken stock
- 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 8 ounces halved bocconcini mozzarella
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
Orecchiette with Mini Chicken or Turkey Meatballs
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Poultry, Pasta, For Kids, Fast and Easy
Active Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Boil a large pot of salted water to boil and cook until tender while making meatballs. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water when draining.
In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, romano cheese, salt, pepper and ground chicken or ground turkey. Wet hands, then form mini-meatballs using a melon baller or a teaspoon. With wet hands, roll balls into 3/4 inch pieces.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on each side for about 2 minutes per side. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through. Giada says this will take five minutes, but we've gone significantly longer.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add parmesan. Toss to coat lightly and add the reserve pasta water if necessary. Add the meatball mixture, the basil, and the mozzarella (at the very last moment to avoid clumping) to the pasta. Toss gently and garnish with basil.
We've made this with chicken and turkey, and both are delicious and a great choice for guests or a weekend family meal!
Kids LOVE these meatballs. Mothers of very young eaters might like to throw some carrots in with the tomatoes, meatballs and chicken broth. Freeze a number of the meatballs with carrots and a spoonful of the broth. Reheat within one month and serve with potatoes or pasta.
What to Drink
A fruity red wine!