A perfect skillet pasta dinner for busy weeknights. You pretty much start off with making the meatballs but not just any meatballs. Baked chicken meatballs. Super, super moist and tender fall apart good. They are truly what makes this dish. And II'm not saying it just to say it. They are seriously that good.
- ½ cup Panko
- ½ lb. ground chicken (substitutions: ground pork, ground veal or ground beef)
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. grated or shredded (in food processor) onion
- 1 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
- 1/4 grated romano cheese
- 1 Tbsp. sour cream
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Pasta Sauce
- 1 box of your favorite pasta -- farfalle works really well, but penne, spaghetti and orecchiette would all work
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water (don't forget to save some pasta water - it helps the sauce adher so much better!)
- 1 cup of your favorite jarred marinara sauce (I'm a huge fan of Rao's)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 - 2 balls of burrata (you can also use small mozzarella balls instead, but I highly encourage burrata if you can find it)
- handful each of fresh chopped parsley and basil
For the Meatballs:
In a large mixing bowl, combine Panko, the chicken, egg, onion, romano cheese, parsley, sour cream, salt and pepper. The mixture should be quite wet.
Shape the chicken mixture into meatballs -- make them whatever size you like, but remember that smaller meatballs will cook faster, and larger ones will take longer -- and place in a single layer on sheetpan.
Cook the meatballs at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes (I had my oven rack set in the middle) or until lightly golden and almost fully cooked. Don't worry -- you're going to finish cooking them in the sauce. Keep an eye on them so they don't overcook! Remove and let stand at room temperature while preparing pasta sauce.
For the pasta Sauce:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ¼ -cup of the pasta water. Then drain the pasta.
In a large saute pan, heat pasta sauce over medium heat.
Add cream and bring to a low simmer. Add meatballs and simmer over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes . The sauce will start to thicken slightly, and you want to be sure the meatballs are fully cooked. After 5 minutes, remove one meatball and cut into it to be sure it's completely cooked through.
Add cooked pasta to the sauce and toss, along with the reserved pasta water.
Tear the burrata and place pieces across the top of the pasta.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.