CHICKEN PARMESAN MEATBALLS
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup Panko
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 medium eggs (or 1 large egg)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH: dried oregano and onion powder
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic, separated
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, separated
- Salt and Pepper
- 20 small mozzarella pearls
- 1/2 cup white flour
- 1/2 cup olive oil separated
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Fresh basil
- Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 package Buitoni Roasted Garlic & Chive Pappardelle
In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, Panko, parmesan, eggs, dried parsley, dried oregano, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Add about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper or to taste. Knead the ingredients together until ingredients are evenly combined.
Slice the mozzarella pearls in half. Form the mixture into mini meatballs and insert half of a mozzarella pearl into each meatball. Ensure that the meat completely covers the mozzarella. You should get around 35-40 total "mini" meatballs.
Add the flour to a shallow bowl. Dredge each meatball in the flour. Tap off the excess flour and set the meatballs onto a plate. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grab a very large nonstick skillet and add in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add in half of the meatballs. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are browned on the outsides, but not cooked through. Remove to a plate.
Add in the remaining meatballs and sauté for 3-4 minutes (add extra olive oil if needed). Add the rest of the meatballs back into the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through.
Meanwhile, in another skillet, add in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the garlic. Stir the garlic for 1 minute and then add in the can of crushed tomatoes. Add 1 cup of water to the can of crushed tomatoes and slosh it around to get all the rest of the tomatoes. Add in that cup to the skillet. Add about 1 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked pepper (to taste), remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, and a sprig of basil.
Simmer the sauce until the meatballs are finished cooking in the oven. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain.
When the meatballs are cooked through, remove and serve with the marinara over the cooked pappardelle.
Top the pasta with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste. Season with any additional salt, pepper, and/or red pepper flakes.