Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

I know I have been slacking with the recipes lately, but it is summer and I have been preparing my basic go to dishes. When the kids come home from camp, the last thing I want to do is spend time in the kitchen away from them and cook!

On this chilly day in July, I'm feeling in the mood for comfort food and decided to whip up some chicken meatballs.

Last year I was lucky enough to attend The Chew and sit at the VIP table. Clinton Kelly made this dish with Fran Drescher and it was the best meal I tasted that day. As soon as I came home, I prepared the meatballs myself and it was very simple and just as delicious. With all my dishes I alter the recipe slightly to suit my family's taste buds. For example, the original recipe calls for red pepper flakes but my children would not be fans of that flavor, so I removed it for my recipe. In addition, I included a recipe for your own sauce if you want to create everything from scratch. I must admit that I did not make my own sauce but used my trusty Rao's instead. Enjoy and happy cooking! 

INGREDIENTS

For the Meatball:

1 pound ground chicken 

1 cup ricotta cheese (drained)

1 large egg (whisked)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

1 clove garlic (peeled, grated)

1 tablespoon oregano leaves (chopped)

1 tablespoon thyme leaves (chopped)

2 cups stale bread (cubed)

1 cup milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion (peeled, chopped)

2 cloves garlic (peeled, thinly sliced)

2 pounds roma tomatoes (finely chopped)

2 sprigs oregano

1 sprig thyme

1 pound spaghetti

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO SERVE :

ricotta (to garnish)

basil (to garnish)

parmesan cheese (grated, to garnish)

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large bowl, add the chicken, ricotta, egg, parmesan, garlic, oregano, thyme, and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk until bread becomes soggy. Remove bread from the milk, squeezing out any excess. Add to the meatball mixture. Scoop 1 1/2-inch meatballs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

For the Tomato Sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes, oregano, and thyme. Simmer until tomatoes release their juices, about 10 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve pasta water to loosen the sauce.

To Serve: Serve spaghetti with sauce, and top with chicken meatballs, dollop of ricotta cheese, basil, and parmesan cheese.

Tip: If fresh tomatoes are out of season, use two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes to make the sauce. Crush the whole tomatoes using the back of a wooden spoon.

Photo and Recipe courtesy of The Chew

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