Martian Food
Sep 18, 2015

The Martian will be in theaters on October 2nd, and the critics are saying it is a spectacular film. The novel,&n

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

Active time:40 minutes

Start To Finish:40 minutes


Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Source: Giada De Laurentiis

Can Be Made Ahead , Quick Preparation, Pasta, For Kids, Fast and Easy , Poultry, Family Favorites
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1 lb. orecchiette pasta
2 large eggs
¼ cup plain bread crumbs
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. whole milk
1 Tbs. ketchup
¾ cup grated Romano cheese
¾ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. ground chicken
¼ cup olive oil
1½ cups low-sodium chicken stock, hot
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves


Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the directions on the box.

As you bring the water to a boil, gently whisk the two eggs in a medium bowl. Then, slowly stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and combine. 

With damp hands, use a mellon baller or a teaspoon measure to roll mini-meatballs into ¾ inch pieces. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches for about two minutes without moving them in the pan. Shake the pan to detach the meatballs and brown the other side. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. 

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta into a large serving bowl and add parmesan; toss and lightly coat adding the reserve pasta water as needed. Gently toss in the meatball mixture, cheese and the ½ cup of basil. Garnish with additional basil, and enjoy!


Giada De Laurentiis makes this with ground chicken, but it is also delicious with ground turkey. She also calls for 8 ounces of bocconcini mozarella, halved. While the mozzarella pearls are smaller, using them cuts a step! 

This meal is a big hit with the entire family, even young children! It is also delicious reheated. 

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