Cheesy Stuffed Chicken Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
Surprise – there’s cheese inside these meatballs!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped, divided
- 1 can plum tomatoes (28 ounces), crushed with your hands or back of a wooden spoon
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
- 1 pound ground all-white meat chicken
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 piece mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add a generous handful of salt along with the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions.
Place a medium size sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add EVOO, about one turn of the pan. Add half of the garlic and cook until it starts to get lightly browned, about one minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer; cook for 8-10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
While sauce is simmering, place the ground chicken in a medium size mixing bowl and add the egg, milk, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup of grated cheese, the other half of the garlic and the parsley.
Season the chicken mixture with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together and roll into 12 medium-size meatballs, each about two inches round.
Place a piece of cheese into the center of each meatball and maneuver the meat around the cheese to seal it in the middle. Place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
Pour meatballs and sauce over the cooked pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and basil and serve.