Another week, another delicious meal I’m drooling over in my Meals for Moms series!
This wonderful winter warmer is from Megan Kate Swan and it looks set to become a family favourite with it’s double cheesy goodness of mozzarella and parmesan!
Mozzarella & Parmesan Chicken Meatball Recipe (serves 4 – 5)
For the meatballs
650g chicken breasts or chicken mince
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup dried panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried basil
3/4 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
For the sauce
2 x 400g cans whole diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. butter
¼ cup finely chopped white onion
1½ tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. mixed herbs
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup cream
150g Bocconcini Mozzarella
2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200˚ C.
To make the meatballs
1.If using whole chicken breasts, use a food processor to blitz up the meat to a fine mince, alternatively if you are able to source chicken mince this is first prize!
2. Combine the ground chicken, panko breadcrumbs, grated onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and egg, knead together until evenly combined. Form the mixture into meatballs about 4cm in diameter.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or heavy based pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer (two batches may be necessary if you don’t have enough surface area.) Brown on all sides – I like to brown mine a bit longer for a nicer crunch. Once all of the meatballs are browned, set aside, until your sauce is ready.
To make the sauce
4. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat (be sure the vessel is ovenproof). Add the onion and cook about 1 minute, until it begins to soften. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, mixed herbs and red pepper flakes and mix just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the canned diced tomatoes, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
5. Now place the meatballs in the pan with the tomato sauce. Dot the mozzarella and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
6. Bake until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with the fresh basil.
7. Serve warm with a bowl of spelt pasta & green salad. Happy Cooking!
P.S. Always use freshly shredded cheese, pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour or cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.
Text: Megan Kate Swan
Images: Timothy Bowles