Saturday, May 23, 2009

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

I sometimes feel like this blog makes me look like a really unhealthy eater. I mainly post desserts and most of the dinner dishes that have actually made it up here have been pasta. I think it’s a combination of various factors. We eat dinner quite late, after we go running, so I am usually too tired and ravenous to fuss around taking pictures, and also, a lot of my dinners are kind of boring. I mean, cake and pasta are a lot more fun and photogenic than grilled meat and vegetables. I do greatly appreciate all of the blogs out there that do make them look and sound exciting; I have poached many outstanding dinner ideas, which I will do a round-up of one of these days.

So here I am with another pasta dish: Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs. You can find the recipe HERE. This was one of the very first dishes I made upon acquiring Giada’s Kitchen last fall and subsequently became one of Mr. Penpen’s most requested dinners. Pasta with meatballs, cherry tomatoes, basil, and LOTS of cheese is not a hard sell. This dish happens to be from the “(Not) Just for Kids” section of the cookbook, and in the recipe notes, Giada encourages you to have your kids make the meatballs. I don’t have children, but the idea of children sticking their fingers in raw meat (with raw eggs!) kind of grosses me out; the potential of salmonella and cleanup of gooey kiddy smearings? Yuck. However, since the meatballs are mini, which is what works with the size of the cheese, tomatoes, and pasta, I do encourage you to have a sous chef, as making them can be tedious. The recipe also does not specify to use flour for rolling the meatballs, but I always use a generous amount.

This is a simple recipe and an incredibly satisfying meal. It’s hearty, and the tomatoes and basil contribute a nice, fresh taste. I read some reviews of it on the Food Network website, and one aptly describes the meatballs as tasting like chicken parmesan. And it makes tons: we both ate it for dinner last Sunday and Mr. Penpen had it for lunch four days last week! I would probably fall asleep at my desk if I ate pasta for lunch, but he does okay. This recipe gets a 10 for Delciousness and a 3 for Effort, giving it an EDR of 3.33.


Megan said...

I made that dish last year, and we loved it too! And I didn't let my kids handle the raw meat - they get just as grossed out as I do!

Jessica said...

Yum! That looks so delicious and I can't wait to try it soon!

Anonymous said...

YUM! Your dish looks delicious.

Elyse said...

This pasta dish looks fabulous! I'm a huge fan of chicken meatballs. They're healthy and delicious! What a great meal. I'm definitely saving this one.