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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken Sausage Meatballs Over Pappardelle

on June 26, 2015

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Thanks to my mom and grandmother, I’ve learned so much in the art of making great meatballs. The one important thing that they both told me was not to overwork the meat, when mixing all the ingredients together. Well, keeping that in mind, I went one better. I came to the conclusion, that if you mix all the wet ingredients along with the spices first, then add in the meat, there was less likelihood of over mixing. Let me show you what I mean.

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First, in a large mixing bowl I add in all the ingredients that will flavor the meat. After it’s been mixed together, I’m looking for it to have the consistency of wet sand as shown in the above picture. I do use a secret ingredient, fresh store-bought basil pesto.

In another bowl I have some ground chicken ( it’s a mixture of dark and white meat) and sweet Italian sausage. Add the meat to the flavor mixture. I use a fork to combine all the ingredients. It does take a minute, but it will ensure that no over mixing happens.

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I used a pound of ground chicken and a pound of sweet Italian sausage for this recipe. Using the large size ice cream scoop, to keep them all the same size,I then rolled out each meatball. This yielded about 22 golf ball size meatballs. On two baking trays lined with parchment paper, that I lightly sprayed some non-stick cooking spray, I lay the meatballs out, with a little room between each one. Lastly before baking them off I sprayed the tops with a little of that non- stick cooking spray to ensure they would brown nicely.

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While the meatball are baking in the oven, I start on the tomato sauce. In a large pot on med heat I sauteed some diced onions until translucent. To the onions I added in some minced garlic, dried oregano,crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I stirred that together and then cooked those for a minute more. Add the tomato paste for some of that deep tomato flavor. Stir that until the tomato paste melted in with the onions and garlic.

Next, add the low sodium chicken broth. Let that come up to a bubble then I reduced the the heat for a couple of minutes before adding in the tomato product. Next, I add in  the brown sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and let all this come up to a bubble before reducing it to a slow simmer.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F..

Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and let everything simmer together on med-low heat for around 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, start cooking the pasta.

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I am totally a fan of Pappardelle. The wide ribbons have so much more surface area for the sauce to adhere. I just follow the instructions on the package using the standard salted boiling water. After I’ve drained the pasta really well, I take a cup of freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese and place that into the bottom of the bowl.

 I toss the cheese through the pasta, very gently, so all those ribbons get coated really well.  Then I take a couple of ladles full of the tomato sauce and toss that through.  what you are witnessing is that the cheese sticks to the pasta, and the sauce sticks to the cheese. Win Win!

Finally, I finish with ladling some of the meatballs on top with a bit more sauce, and a little more sprinkling of that cheese. Serve with some crusty cheese bread.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes ( this includes making the meatball mixture and dicing the onions and garlic for the sauce)
Baking Time For Meatballs: 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Cooking Time For Tomato Sauce: 45 minutes
Yields: 22 golf size meatballs
Equipment: 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper, large Dutch oven pot

Ingredients For Meatballs:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1 pound of ground chicken
1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of fresh basil pesto (store-bought pesto can be found in the refrigerated section where you find the fresh pasta and sauces)
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of plain Panko bread crumbs
1/2 a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 cloves of freshly grated garlic
2 large beaten eggs
5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of Ricotta cheese
1 cup up of half and half ( start with 3/4’s of a cup and add more until you get the consistency of wet sand)

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 diced onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
2 -28 ounce cans: 1 each of San Marzano whole tomatoes and crushed tomatoes (be sure to break up whole tomatoes)
1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the pasta (reserve some for garnish)

Directions:
Start with making the meatball mixture. Then roll the balls out and lay them out onto 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets that have been sprayed with non- stick cooking spray. Also spray the tops of the meatballs lightly with the spray. Bake them off at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes. While the meatballs are baking off, start on the tomato sauce. Once all the ingredients have been added to the pot, like described above, and the tomato sauce is at a low simmer, remove the meatballs from the oven.

Next, transfer the meatballs to the sauce. Let all this cook on a slow simmer for 45 minutes. Next, start the water boiling (don’t forget to salt the water) for the pasta. Drain the pasta really well, have some grated cheese ready in the bottom of a large bowl before adding in the drained pasta. Toss the cheese through the pasta, then ladle in some of the tomato sauce and toss that through. Place some of the lightly coated pasta into a serving bowl, add on a ladle or two of sauce with the meatballs and finally sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with some great cheesy bread.

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