Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Baked Chicken Meatballs with Broccoli Pesto Pasta

I had tried a Greek-inspired menu of meatballs with mint and lentil purée with cilantro, thinking it would distract the kids from the side of raw vegetable salad, but I think no one liked them much. I then decided to try a leaner meatball, namely these baked chicken meatballs served with roasted broccoli pesto pasta. These were *great*! The Engineer had seconds, and surprisingly, the Little Prince liked the pasta the best. (It was dark by the time we had dinner, obviously, so you’ll have to make do with this photo.) 

For the roasted broccoli pesto 
4 cloves garlic 
1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped 
½ cup fresh basil 
½ cup grated lactose-free parmesan cheese 
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 
½ tsp. salt 

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. 

Cut and wash the broccoli into small florets and toss with salt and olive oil. 

Roast on a sheet pan until the edges begin to crisp and the inside of the broccoli is tender, about 30 minutes. 

In a food processor blend together broccoli along with remaining ingredients until blended well. If a thinner consistency is desired add more olive oil, one tablespoon at a time while blending. 

For the chicken meatballs 
2 lbs. ground chicken 
1 cup breadcrumbs 
2 large eggs, beaten 
1 Tbsp. dried fennel seed (I used less) 
1 cup finely grated lactose-free parmesan cheese 
4 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tsp. salt (I would use just 1 tsp. next time) 
1 lb. bucatini (or your pasta of choice, including low-carb) 

Preheat oven to 450 °F. 

Use your hands to combine the ground chicken, salt, eggs, fennel, grated parmesan cheese, garlic and breadcrumbs (do not overmix or the meatballs might get tough). Form uniform meatballs about 2 Tbsp. each and arrange on a baking sheet. 

Roast meatballs for 15 min on center rack. Turn heat up to 500 °F and brush meatballs with olive oil. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Save some of the cooking water to help mix the pesto if you want. 

Toss pasta with broccoli pesto along with some olive oil or pasta water and top with chicken meatballs. Serve with freshly shaved parmesan. Enjoy!

No comments: