Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mini Chicken Meatballs and Gnocchi

This is another one from Rachael Ray.  It sounded like a fun change from the traditional spaghetti and meatballs.  It was pretty good!  It made about five times as much sauceas you would ever need for the dish, but was good.  The sauce was a little bland, so I added some extra garlic and salt and pepper, but I will leave the original recipe and you can spice it up any way you want!

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
1 teaspoon, 1/3 palm full, fennel seeds
1/4 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes (available in pouches or tubs in produce section)
1 cup, 20 leaves fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it in your palm
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 pound gnocchi, potato dumplings, from refrigerated or frozen foods section of market (I get mine and     
       Sam's Club by the dried pasta and sauce)
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, 1/2 cup – a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at table
Crusty bread, to pass at table
Bring a pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Salt boiling water but wait a while to drop in gnocchi.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place chicken in a medium bowl with grill seasoning and fennel seeds. Pile sun-dried tomatoes on top of each other in small stacks then slice into thin strips. Coarsely chop the thin strips and add to bowl. Stack the basil leaves together then roll them up into a log. Shred the basil by thinly slicing the log. Add the half the basil to the bowl. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bowl. Mix chicken together, roll into mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. To the hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan then the garlic, onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and season sauce with salt and pepper.

Drop gnocchi in boiling water and cook 5 minutes or to package directions.

Stir basil into sauce to wilt it. Drain gnocchi and arrange on a platter. Remove balls from oven and add to gnocchi, equally distributing them. Sprinkle cheese over meatballs and hot dumplings then top with sauce by carefully ladling it all over and around the platter. Gently toss to combine then serve with crusty bread.

No comments:

Post a Comment