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Italian Style Chicken Meatballs with Homemade Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

by Kate Mate (follow)
Kate Mate
Dinner (2274)      Lunch (1798)      Chicken (692)      Pasta (281)      Italian (218)      Tomatoes (202)      Peppers (14)     
This recipe is something I came up with in my head. it turned out really well, so I am very happy with it. I hope you will like it too.

Meatballs with sauce and penne pasta
Italian meatballs served with penne pasta

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 42 minutes
Makes: 3 servings


For the Sauce
190 g can of Always Fresh Spanish peppers
4 small truss tomatoes
1 small brown onion diced
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of Gourmet Garden basil paste
1 cup of vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of raw sugar
1 tablespoon of rice bran oil

For the meatballs
500 g of chicken mince
3 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

To Serve
4 1/2 cups of penne pasta
1/2 cup of grated tasty cheese

In a large fry pan add rice bran oil and heat on high.
When oil is hot, add in onion and garlic and sauté until the onion starts to go soft.
Add in tomato paste and cook for about one to two minutes stirring to cook off the raw flavour of the paste.
Next add in vegetable stock stirring well to combine all ingredients.
Wash tomatoes and cut them in half. Cut out the centre piece at the top and discard.
Cut each half of tomato into large chunks and add to the pan.
Add in the raw sugar and basil paste to the pan and stir to combine everything again.
Open the can of peppers and drain well.
Add the peppers to the pan and stir to mix through.
When the sauce starts to boil turn the heat down to low to simmer.
At this stage the tomatoes will have started to soften. Mash the tomatoes gently with a potato masher.

Sauce cooking in the pan
Turn heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes

Place a lid on the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
When sauce is cooked take off the heat and transfer to a large measuring jug and allow to cool.
Once sauce has cooled place in the fridge overnight.
If you are short on time you can skip leaving the sauce overnight.
Purée sauce with a stick blender or a nutri bullet until smooth.
Pour sauce through a fine sieve and set aside.
If there are any chunks left blend them again with a little bit of the puréed sauce to help it blend.
Set aside the finished sauce and start making your meatballs.

Smooth puréed sauce
Sauce should be smooth like this

For the meatballs it is so simple.
Start by preheating the oven to 160 degrees celsius fan forced or 180 celsius non fan forced
Whisk two eggs in a large bowl.
Add in chicken mince, mascarpone cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
Mix everything until well combined.
Use a large square baking dish with high sides and set it down next to your bowl ready for the meatballs.
Roll out meatballs making them evenly sized about one dessert spoonful of mixture for each meatball.

Meatballs rolled out
Meatballs have been rolled out and placed in the baking dish

Place the meatballs into the baking dish side by side as close together as you can without each one fully touching each other.
Any left over mixture can be rolled out and set aside.
Using a dessert spoon pour one spoonful of sauce over each meatball.

Cover the meatballs with sauce
Cover the meatballs with sauce so that each one is fully covered

Once all have been done continue to pour a spoonful of sauce over each meatball to make sure each one is fully covered.
When all meatballs are completely covered, pour any remaining sauce over the meatballs.
Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take out the meatballs from the oven and uncover.
Place the uncovered baking dish back into the oven for a further 10 minutes.
While the meatballs finish off cooking, cook penne pasta in some boiling water according to the packet instructions (usually ten minutes).
Remove meatballs from the oven and allow to cool.

Cut meatball in half to check
Cut a meatball in half to check if it is cooked

Drain and rinse pasta under some warm water.
Place about 1 and a half cups of pasta into each serving bowl.
Top each bowl of pasta with equal amounts of meatballs.
Spoon any remaining sauce over the meatballs and pasta.
Top with a little grated cheese and serve.
You could also try adding the cheese when taking off the aluminium foil and place back in for 10 minutes so that the cheese melts and is slightly golden.

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