Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Tuscan Salad and Orecchiette with Chicken Meatballs

Got these recipes that are from Giada De Laurentiis and they are soooo good! Unfortunately forgot about pictures until after we had plowed through the meal, lol.

Tuscan Salad

8 oz. green beans cut into 1-2 inch pieces (~2 cups)

1 head romaine lettuce torn

1 can cannellini beans, drain and rinse

1/2 cup pitted black olives

1/2 red onion, cut into slivers

1 lemon juiced

1/4 cup EVOO

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 oz shaved Parmesan (~1/2 cup)

In medium pot bring water with a little salt to a boil. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly tender. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and cool 3 minutes.

In large bowl combine green beans with lettuce, cannellini beans, olives and red onion. Toss to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Top with shaved Parmesan.

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

1 pound orecchiette pasta (I used tortellini)

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 Tbsp whole milk

1 Tbsp ketchup

3/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pound ground chicken

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

8 ounces bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved

1 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, 8-10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and combine well. Using a teaspoon measure to scoop up the mixture, roll into 3/4 inch meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs and brown the tops, about 2 minutes longer. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce to low heat and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss to coat the pasta lightly, adding some of the pasta water to help make a sauce. Add the meatball mixture, bocconcini, and 1/2 cup of the basil and combine. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the remaining basil.

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