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Monday, September 10, 2012

Mini Chicken Sausage Meatballs with Gnocchi and Tomato Sauuce

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 15 min | Makes: 4 servings, 27 (1-inch balls) | Difficulty: Easy


  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)
  • 1 teaspoon, 1/3 palm full, fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes (available in pouches or tubs in produce section)
  • 1 cup, 20 leaves fresh basil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to drizzle
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, eyeball it in your palm
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound gnocchi, potato dumplings, from refrigerated or frozen foods section of market
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, 1/2 cup – a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at table


Bring a pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Salt boiling water but wait a while to drop in gnocchi.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place chicken in a medium bowl with bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grill seasoning and fennel seeds. Pile sun-dried tomatoes on top of each other in small stacks then slice into thin strips. Coarsely chop the thin strips and add to bowl. Stack the basil leaves together then roll them up into a log. Shred the basil by thinly slicing the log. Add the half the basil to the bowl. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bowl. Mix chicken together, roll into mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. To the hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan then the garlic, onions and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and season sauce with salt and pepper.
Drop gnocchi in boiling water and cook 5 minutes or to package directions.
Stir basil into sauce to wilt it. Drain gnocchi and arrange on a platter. Remove balls from oven and add to gnocchi, equally distributing them. Sprinkle cheese over meatballs and hot dumplings then top with sauce by carefully ladling it all over and around the platter.
Adapted From:

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