Monday, April 14, 2008

Florentine Mac and Cheese and Roast Chicken Sausage Meatballs

Inspiration:
Modified a recipe by Rachael Ray

Ingredients:
  • salt
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • Black pepper
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs, plus more, if needed*
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach, stemmed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, eyeball it
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it and add the pasta to cook to al dente. Strain pasta reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, in a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, salt and pepper, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano - a rounded handful, egg and bread crumbs. *If the mixture seems too wet, add a handful of bread crumbs and mix together.

  4. Form 8 large round balls, about 3 to 4-inches. Coat balls in a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and lightly grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Arrange balls on the baking sheet and roast 17 to 18 minutes until juices run clear

  5. While the meatballs roast, in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, add spinach and thicken 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 cup grated Parmigiano and reduce heat on lowest setting.

  6. Toss pasta with the spinach-white sauce and adjust seasonings.

  7. Serve Florentine Mac-n-Cheese with 2 meatballs per person along side.


Notes: The chicken meatballs are really, really good. The fennel shines in the dish. The sauce is also pretty good- not gluey like I was expecting.

Tim's Rating: 9/10 ("Can you make these again next week?")
Liz's Rating: 9/10

4 comments:

Katie said...

I just saw this recipe around the other day and I was thinking about making it. After your review, i'll definitely make it! Yum!

Erin said...

chicken meatballs sound so good. I'm not a beef eater, but love the idea of meatballs. I think my husband would love this, too!

brannyboilsover said...

This looks excellent, Thanks L!

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!