Chris Kimball's Classic Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs

Chris Kimball's Classic Spaghetti and Chicken Meatballs

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  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • 2

    slices white sandwich bread (crusts discarded), torn into small cubes

  • ½

    cup buttermilk or 6 tablespoons plain yogurt thinned with 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 1

    pound ground chicken mixed with ground chuck

  • ¼

    cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2

    tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 1

    small clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)

  • ¾

    teaspoon table salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • Vegetable oil for pan-frying (about 1-¼ cups)

  • SMOOTH TOMATO SAUCE

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1

    teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1

    can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • 1

    tablespoons fresh basil leaves, minced

  • Table salt

  • Ground black pepper

  • 1

    pound spaghetti

  • Parmesan cheese, fresh, grated

Directions

For the Meatballs: Combine bread and buttermilk in small bowl, mashing occasionally with form, until smooth paste forms, about 10 minutes. Place ground chicken, cheese, parsley, egg yolk, garlic, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl. Add bread-milk mixture and combine until evenly mixed. Shape 3 tablespoons of mixture into 1-1/2 inch round meatballs When forming meatballs, use a light touch. If you compact the meatballs too much, they can become dense and hard). You should be able to form about 14 meatballs. After shaping meatballs place on platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Pour vegetable oil into 10- or 11-inch saute pan to depth of 1/4 inch. Turn flame to medium-high. After several minutes, test oil with edge of meatball. When oil sizzles, add meatballs in single layer. Fry, turning several times, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Regulate heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking. Transfer browned meatballs to plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Technique for Browning Meatballs: Meatballs taste best when browned evenly on all sides. Their round shape makes this a challenge. Brown the two broader sides of the meatballs first and then use tongs to stand the meatballs on their sides. If necessary, lean the meatballs up against one another as they brown. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in large pot for pasta. For the sauce, discard oil in pan, leaving behind any browned bits. Add olive oil along with garlic; saute, scraping up any browned bits, just until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, bring to boil and simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil; add salt and pepper to taste. Add meatballs and simmer, turning them occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm over low flame. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente, drain and return to pot. Ladle several large spoonfuls of tomato sauce (without meatballs) over spaghetti and toss until noodles are well coated. Divide pasta amount individual bowls and top each with a little more tomato sauce and 2-3 meatballs. Serve immediately with grated cheese passed separately. Tip: We found that they must be refrigerated for an hour before being fried to keep them from sticking to the pan or falling apart. Serves: 4-6


Nutrition

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