Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicken Meatballs with Penne

This recipe is what we had for dinner last night. We loved it! It was somehow different enough from regular spaghetti that it didn't feel like the same meal, even though it contains the same basic ingredients. It's also a departure from my usual method, in that it contains a specific type of canned tomatoes. I try to avoid ingredients like that because they can be hard to find. If you had to, I suppose you could use plain tomatoes in this, but I have really enjoyed the flavor addition of the red peppers. The fresh herbs are also a really necessary ingredient. If you grow your own, this is a pretty cheap meal! (In fact, the ground chicken I used I bought on sale for only $1.49!)

Chicken Meatballs with Penne

1 box penne pasta
1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup assorted herbs (parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano - any combination of at least 2)
2 cans spicy red pepper diced tomatoes (Hunt's brand)

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, parsley, oregano, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Form into bite-size meatballs. In a large skillet, brown meatballs in olive oil; add in onion and garlic. (You may need to add another tablespoon of olive oil.) Cook for 2-3 minutes. Combine the tomatoes and the remaining herbs in a blender and blend to desired consistency. Add to meatballs. Simmer, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is done, drain it and serve with the meatballs and sauce.

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