Pasta Os with Meatballs
~America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Favorites
- 6 oz. ground chicken (not chicken breast/99% fat free)
- 3 T. pesto
- 3 T. plain dried breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped coarse
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium
- 1 small celery rib, chopped coarse
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 4 oz. ditalini pasta (about 1 cup)
- Combine chicken, pesto, breadcrumbs, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pinch pepper in a bowl and mix with hands until uniform. Use a heaping teaspoon to gently form the mixture in 3/4-inch round meatballs (about 28 meatballs), place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed.
- Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and tomatoes with their juice, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the carrot is softened, 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer soup to a blender and process until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the pureed soup to a clean pot, cover, and return to a simmer over medium heat.
- Stir in pasta and reserved meatballs and continue to simmer until pasta and meatballs are cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 (1 1/2 cup) servings. Goes well with a big salad.