Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pasta with Pesto Chicken Meatballs

Pasta with Pesto Chicken Meatballs
Adapted from Ricardo Magazine recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves 4-6


1 ½ -2 lb/ 675- 900g lean ground chicken
½ cup pesto (or one of the many great store bought pestos)
½ cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko, Japanese style)
1 egg

1/2cup flour

½ box (8oz/225g) pasta (I used Sobaya Natural Wheat & Buckwheat pasta – looks like spaghetti)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup white wine (Ricardo used heavy cream, which I’m sure will be delicious)
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Prepare the meatballs….combine chicken, pesto, egg and breadcrumbs and for into golf-ball sized balls. Ground chicken is very sticky, so lightly oil your hands before forming balls. Place them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with flour…rolling them a bit before frying.

2. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente (check the package for time – anywhere from 5 to 8 minutes)

3. While the water for the pasta is coming to boil, in large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and sauté the chicken meatballs (about 5-6 minutes). The flour gives a lovely crispy coating to the meatballs and thickens the liquids into a lovely smooth sauce.

4. Once you add the pasta to the pasta water, it’s time to add the chicken broth and wine (or cream) to the meatballs in the skillet. With heat turned up to high, allow the mixture to thicken. If you’re using the cream, you probably don’t even have to raise the heat. It doesn't take very long, so stay close to the stove.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a serving bowl, pour the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and toss. Sprinkle with additional chopped basil (and if you’re not worrying about mixing milk and meat)…some grated parmesan cheese.

Toss and serve with a salad. I like romaine hearts and lemony vinaigrette.

PS...I think the meatball recipe will make a great meatloaf too.

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