Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs

Cook Time
10 mins
Prep Time
20 mins



  • 450g orecchiette pasta
  • 25g plain bread crumbs
  • 15g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 75g grated Romano
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 450g chicken mince
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 350ml low-sodium chicken stock, hot
  • 600g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 225g bocconcini mozzarella, halved
  • 15g chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Cono Sur Pinot Noir

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 mins.

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, tomato ketchup, Romano cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the chicken and gently stir to combine.

Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure), form the chicken mixture into 2cm pieces. With damp hands, roll the chicken pieces into mini meatballs.

In a large (35cm) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 mins. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 2 mins longer. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 mins. Drain the pasta, reserving about 240ml of the pasta water. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl and add the Parmesan. Toss to lightly coat orecchiette, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Add the meatball mixture, mozzarella cheese, and the basil. Gently toss to combine. Garnish with the chopped basil.

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