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
- 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
- 2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
- ¼ cup reserved pasta water*
- 1 cup jarred Tomato Basil pasta sauce
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup mini mozzarella balls ("pearls"-found next to fresh mozzarella)
- 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 1¼-inch meatballs (I used 1 tsp. measuring spoon) and place in a single layer on a lightly coated with cooking spray or oil baking sheet.
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 but still slightly pink on the inside. 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 al dente according to package directions. Reserve ¼ -cup of the pasta water and drain the rest.
In a large saute pan, heat pasta sauce over medium heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer over low/med heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and meatballs are cooked through. (Meatballs should be super moist, tender, and white on the inside).
Add cooked pasta to the sauce and the reserved pasta water if needed. Give it couple stirs with a spoon and then add the mozzarella balls. Cook on low for a few minutes to combine.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.