Monday, June 12, 2006

Mini Chicken Sausage Meatballs

With Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce

From Rachael Ray: 365 No Repeats

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 Tbsp grill seasoning
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C tender sun-dried tomatoes
20 fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus some to drizzle
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 pound gnocchi (potato dumplings) from the refrigerated or frozen foods section
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8oz can tomato sauce
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Place the chicken in a medium bowl with the grill seasoning, fennel seeds, and half of the garlic. Pile the sun-dried tomatoes on top of each other in small stacks, then slice into thin strips. Coarsely chop them and add to the bowl. Drizzle EVOO over the bowl. Mix the ingredients together and form mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a rimmed nonstick cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until firm and lightly golden.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the gnocchi. Season the water with salt, add the gnocchi, and cook according to package directions. Drain.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the EVOO and onions, remaining garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat. Stir in the basil leaves, whole or torn.

Toss the gnocchi and meatballs with the sauce and serve with grated cheese to pass at the table.

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