An oldie from Smitten Kitchen’s site, my only adjustment was to use up the whole can of tomato paste, and add more pancetta (again due to packaging). And to think I have yet to cook from her new book! – enjoy!
Baked Chicken Meatballs
1 c. Italian bread torn into tiny bits (about 2 slices) AND 1/3 c. milk
150 g pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely diced AND 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/2 t. EACH salt AND freshly ground pepper
1 lb. ground chicken
1 can (156 mL) tomato paste, divided
1 T. + olive oil
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 and leave the bread to soak in the milk in a small bowl for a few minutes while you prep everything else.
Cook the pancetta in a skillet for a few minutes, and then when there’s visible oil, add in the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and continue to cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mix to cool for a bit.
Squeeze the bread of excess milk and discard the milk. In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg, then add in the chicken, half of the tomato paste, the pancetta/onion, squeezed bread and parsley and combine well. Form this mix into 12, evenly sized large meatballs and arrange them in a good-sized casserole dish so that they’re not touching. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining tomato paste and olive oil and blob it on each meatball…don’t worry too much about how it looks. Bake for about 20 minutes until they are cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 160, then serve as you wish – these are great with absolutely everything!