Thursday, December 3, 2009

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

I think this is the perfect dish to return to my blog. I have made this about 3 times since I first tried it. The whole family loves it, it couldnt be easier and I have created other dishes using these awesome little meatballs. I think this recipe will replace the meatballs in my Italian Wedding Soup. I am working on an appetizer recipe ala chicken parm on a stick. I'll keep you posted. I wont wait until the verdict, to tell you that I LOVE this recipe. It was really flavorful and I really loved these meatballs. I liked my version better since I dont have time to be frying meatballs and it made them healthier to bake them. I dont think it really changed the recipe. I also liked how the little mozzarella balls slightly melted. Now that I see this recipe I need to make it again this week. YUM!
**I also apologize for the weird formatting. I am still getting the hang of MAC and how things are a bit different.

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatball

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

4 to 6 servings (about 60 mini meatballs or 30 medium sized)


  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces bocconcini mozzarella, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper.

Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.

Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure)(or spoon to scoop), form the chicken mixture into 3/4-inch pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to a large saute pan

Bring to a boil.

Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft add meatballs and simmer about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl and add the Parmesan.

Toss to lightly coat orecchiette, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta.

Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of the basil.

Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil


  1. I'm glad to see you've taken to Giada. Once you get past her big head, she really does have some winning recipes!

  2. SO TRUE
    Her head fixates me to the point of not paying attention to what she is doing. But she does know how to cook so darn good food, so for that I can try to ignore :)

  3. This looks so cute and delicious!