Chicken Meatballs & Fregola Sarda with Kale & Sicilian Tomato Sauce

Chicken Meatballs & Fregola Sarda

with Kale & Sicilian Tomato Sauce

50 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight, to accompany garlic and parmesan-seasoned chicken meatballs, we're making a sauce inspired by the bright flavors of Sicily. Capers and golden raisins elevate simple tomato sauce with complementary briny and sweet notes. We're serving the meatballs and sauce over a bed of fregola sarda (a toasted semolina pasta) tossed with hearty kale and the juice of a pink lemon, known for its gorgeous color.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    720 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook the pasta:
1 Cook the pasta:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Set aside in a warm place.

Prepare the ingredients:
2 Prepare the ingredients:
Cook the kale:
3 Cook the kale:

While the pasta continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the kale and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted and fragrant. Add the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

Form & brown the meatballs:
4 Form & brown the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, remaining garlic and half the parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:
5 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:

To the pan, add the raisins, capers and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish the pasta & plate your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & plate your dish:

Add the mascarpone cheese and a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and kale. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Top with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the remaining parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook the pasta:
1 Cook the pasta:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook 14 to 16 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the kale:
3 Cook the kale:

While the pasta continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the kale and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted and fragrant. Add the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.

4 Form & brown the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, remaining garlic and half the parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 to 12 equal-sized meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Form & brown the meatballs:
Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:
5 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs:

To the pan, add the raisins, capers and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Finish the pasta & plate your dish:

Add the mascarpone cheese and a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and kale. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Top with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the remaining parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & plate your dish:
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