Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Have I told you guys about the pasta sampler we had while we were in Ravello this past summer? It was a plate of 6 kinds of pasta, all with different proteins and sauces and handmade pasta and my husband and I went back to the restaurant TWICE it was so good! (which is sacrilegious in my book because you should never go to the same restaurant twice when traveling) But we couldn’t be stopped. There was a sun dried tomato pasta sauce that I was obsessed with and I’ve been perfecting my rendition ever since getting home – so without further ado… Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin) Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

These cheesy chicken meatballs are loaded with plenty of spices, a few herbs and tons of Parrano cheese, so them alone are perfection. But then add to that the Parrano loaded sauce and it’s like a match made in Italian food heaven. Each bite is better than the last and you’ll want to keep it in the dinner rotation on a weekly basis! AND… if that’s the case, you can make the pasta sauce ahead of time in bulk, and keep it stocked in the freezer!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs

Yield: Serves 4-6

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Chicken Meatballs


    For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parrano cheese
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the Pasta and Sauce
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 roasted red pepper, drained, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parrano cheese


    For the Meatballs
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, Parrano, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. Carefully combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  2. Form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball. Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside and then continue cooking through for about 6 minutes more. Once the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
  3. For the Pasta and Sauce
  4. Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add sun dried tomatoes, cream, red peppers and crushed red pepper; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and simmer 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, let cool, then transfer to a blender and puree for 1 minute until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce, cheese and toss to coat. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to pasta to moisten if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs back into the pot and heat through. Garnish with basil and extra Parrano cheese.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

** This post is brought to you by Parrano. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for What’s Gaby Cooking**

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