Italian Sausage Meatballs & Garlic-Herb Orzo with Tomato Sauce & Fennel
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Italian Sausage Meatballs & Garlic-Herb Orzo

with Tomato Sauce & Fennel

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this dish, hot Italian pork sausage meatballs, fennel, and scallions come together in a bright tomato sauce. It's all served over a bed of tender orzo pasta and topped with a sprinkle of salty parmesan cheese.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    860 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Italian Sausage Meatballs & Garlic-Herb Orzo with Tomato Sauce & Fennel
Title
  • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
  • 1 Fennel Bulb
  • 4 oz Orzo Pasta
  • 2 Scallions
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 8-Oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 oz Garlic & Herb Flavored Butter
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel, then halve, core, and medium dice the bulb. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops.

Form & brown the meatballs
2 Form & brown the meatballs

In a bowl, combine the sausage and breadcrumbs; gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 10 tightly packed meatballs. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally and shaking the pan (carefully, as the oil may splatter), 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides.

Cook & finish the pasta
3 Cook & finish the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil; stir until combined and the butter is melted.

Finish the meatballs & serve your dish
4 Finish the meatballs & serve your dish

Add the diced fennel to the pan of browned meatballs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits (or fond), 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid has cooked off. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the cheese and sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for pork.

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard any stems from the fennel, then halve, core, and medium dice the bulb. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops.

2 Form & brown the meatballs

In a bowl, combine the sausage and breadcrumbs; gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 10 tightly packed meatballs. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs. Cook, turning occasionally and shaking the pan (carefully, as the oil may splatter), 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides.

Form & brown the meatballs
Cook & finish the pasta
3 Cook & finish the pasta

Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil; stir until combined and the butter is melted.

4 Finish the meatballs & serve your dish

Add the diced fennel to the pan of browned meatballs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits (or fond), 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the liquid has cooked off. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the cheese and sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for pork.

Finish the meatballs & serve your dish
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