Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

Do you ever get into a book series that you just cannot.put.down??  That’s how I am with the Sookie Stackhouse novels.  They’re what True Blood is based off of, and are absolutely addictive.  And yes, you do have them to thank for your weekly dose of man candy.  Yes’m.


Thank you, Charlaine Harris.

I read a lot of them back in undergrad, but with the last book coming out in May I’ve been re-reading the series and catching up on the few books I missed.  I don’t think I’ve ever read books so fast.  I’ve been reading each book in roughly two days, and at over 200 pages a pop, even I’m surprised by that speed reading.  Those are some train rides and lunch breaks used well!  I’m just two books from the final one, and I have to admit that I’m getting sort of sad.  I never like to see a series end, especially one with such amazing characters.

Thankfully, I have a good pasta dish to help with the post-series-carb-coma.  This pasta is the ultimate comfort food.  It’s little orecchiette pasta shells paired with creamy mozzarella cheese and mini chicken meatballs.  I was a little afraid to master these little meatballs because my previous meatball experience has not been too pleasant.  I tried to make beef ones once and got so afraid that they weren’t cooked through that I just made it a meat sauce.  These cooked up nice and quickly, though, and as far as I know I didn’t give anyone salmonella.  So, yay!

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

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1 lb oreccheitte pasta

1/4 cu plain bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp whole milk

1 tbsp ketchup

3/4 cup Romano cheese, grated

3/4 tsp salt and pepper

1 lb ground chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup freshly granted Parmesan cheese

8 ounces, bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Cook the pasta according to the package’s instructions.  In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano, salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and mix until combined.  Roll the meat mixture into small balls and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet and add the meatballs in a single layer.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  Add the broth and tomatoes and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Drain the pasta and toss with the meatball mixture.  Add the bocconcini, basil and Parmesan and toss until combine.  Mangia!

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Source: Giada’s Kitchen: New Italian Favorites


6 thoughts on “Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

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