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Pasta and Baked Meatballs

  
You never know what I am going to find when I browse through my board called Looks Yummy, Have to Try.  This one had been there awhile and when I decided to make it our daughter said, oh, I wanted to try that one night, but Dad picked another recipe.   I am glad we finally gave this one a try.  One pot pasta dished are my favorites.    Too bad the kids were working that night, because they only got the left overs!

ORECCHIETTE WITH BAKED MINI CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN TOMATO CREAM SAUCE

Meatballs
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
½ lb. ground chicken
1 egg
2 Tbsp. grated or shredded (in food processor) onion
1 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
1 Tbsp. sour cream
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Pasta & Sauce

2 cups uncooked orecchiette pasta
¼ – ⅓ cup reserved pasta water*
1 cup jarred Tomato Basil pasta sauce
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup mini mozzarella balls 

fresh chopped parsley or basil

INSTRUCTIONS

Meatballs

In a large mixing bowl, combine Panko with milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until milk is absorbed. To the Panko, add the chicken, egg, onion, parsley, sour cream, salt and pepper. The mixture should be quite wet.

Turn on your broiler on HIGH.

Shape the chicken mixture into 1¼-inch meatballs (I used 1 tsp. measuring spoon) and place in a single layer on a lightly coated with cooking spray or oil baking sheet.

Broil the meatballs on HIGH for 3-4 minutes (I had my oven rack set in the middle) or until lightly golden and almost fully cooked but still slightly pink on the inside. Keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook! Remove and let stand at room temperature while preparing pasta+sauce.

Pasta & Sauce

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Reserve ¼ – ⅓ cups of pasta water and drain the rest.

In a large saute pan, heat pasta sauce over medium heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer over low/med heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and meatballs are cooked through. (Meatballs should be super moist, tender, and white on the inside).

Add cooked pasta to the sauce and the reserved pasta water.** Give it couple stirs with a spoon and then add the mozzarella balls.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.

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