I’m very excited to share this recipe today. I originally discovered it years ago, through chef Giada De Laurentis. Does anybody remember watching Everyday Italian on the Food Network? I have to admit, I grew up with pretty strict parents when it came to entertainment (which I am now grateful for). So there wasn’t a lot that I was allowed to watch on cable. One thing that always was allowed though—Food Network. Honestly, this wasn’t even much of a sacrifice because I LOVED it. I loved Ina, Giada, and Alton. I swear part of the reason I love to cook so much, and why I knew what “mince” meant when I was 8 years old, is thanks to Food Network.
Giada was always one of my go-tos, and lucky for me her show always came on when I got home from school! She is known for recipes that take Italian concepts and flavors, but prepares then in a more simple way.
I love how the orecchiette noodles serve as little bowls to house pockets of flavor.
A delicious dinner any time of the year, but especially perfect in the colder months. Give this one a try and let me know what you think!
Orecchiette with Mini Meatballs
- 1 lb orecchiette pasta
- ¼ cup plain or Italian bread crumbs
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- ¼ cup romano grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock low salt is best
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup parmeson freshly grated
- 8 ounces mozzarella balls pearls or ciliegine
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- Boil water for pasta in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente or firm. About 8-10 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the following ingredients: breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, eggs, ketchup, milk, Romano, and salt and pepper. Add the ground chicken to this mixture and mix gently to combine.
- Form chicken into small meatballs. A melon baller works well for a size guideline. Make sure your hands are damp when rolling the meatballs, it helps the mixture not to stick as badly.
- In a large, deep skillet or dutch oven, bring half of the oil olive up to medium heat. Brown meatballs, turning gently to cook all sides. You will want to do this in stages. As the meatballs finish, move to a plate on the side.
- Once all the meatballs are done, bring the finished ones back to the pot. Add in chicken stock and bring up to a boil, being sure to scrap the bottom of the pot to get up any flavor lying there. Add in the halved tomatoes and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes-- until meatballs are cooked through.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pot, along with the grated Parmesan, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Toss lightly to combine and serve!