Monday, February 20, 2012

Mama Mia, That's a Mighty Tasty Meatball...Gia Russa Style

This evening I was in the mood for meatballs...don't ask me why, but I was.  I had a 1-lb package of Perdue ground chicken breast in the fridge and decided to use that as the base for my meatballs.  To the chicken, I added 2 large cloves of minced fresh garlic, 1 egg, 1/3 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs, a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of Turkish oregano (yes, these meatballs are culturally diverse), cracked black pepper, a smidge of sea salt, a heaping 2/3 cup of freshly grated Romano cheese and a few tablespoons of shredded Parmesan...and then to moisten it a little more, I added about 1/4 cup of spicy Sicilian pasta sauce....whew!  I mixed all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and then used a small ice cream scoop to make fairly uniform meatballs, placed them in a baking pan and baked them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

While my balls were baking, I brought a pot of water to a boil to cook my Gia Russa Whole Wheat Roman Rigatoni.  In another pan, I sauteed a couple of sliced small zucchinis and then set them aside.  In yet another medium sized pot, I dumped an open jar of Gia Russa Hot Sicilian Sauce and most of another jar of Gia Russa's "New" Low Sodium Tomato and Basil Sauce and began heating it...and because I can never leave well enough alone, I added a generous few shakes of red pepper flakes to the sauce as it heated.  Once my sauce was hot and my meatballs baked, I placed them in the sauce, added the zucchini and covered them and let them simmer and mingle for another 20 minutes or so.  After the pasta was done...I plated my rigatoni ("bowled" it actually) and placed 2 meatballs and my spicy sauce on top.  I then topped it with more fresh chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese.....Mangia!  And as always, I took a few pictures...check them out below!

Basic ingredients
United Nations seasoning (Italian parsley & Turkish oregano)
Perdue ground chicken lean
Lined up and waiting to be popped into the oven
I love this pasta...whole wheat "Gia Russa" rigatoni
Sliced little zucchinis...up close and personal
I used a combination of these 2 sauces
All baked and getting ready to "mingle" a while
Zucchinis have been added to the mix and mingle party
Meatballs, zucchini and sauce served on top of a bed of rigatoni...yummy!
Take a peek inside the meatball...they are so tender and delicate

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