Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pasta Os with Meatballs

I once tried to feed my kids canned spaghetti o's.... It did NOT go over well. My kids love some processed foodstuffs, but apparently Chef Boyardee does not make the cut. This recipes is America's Test Kitchen's version of the same and, let me assure you, even grown-ups will like it! (and it's one of my kids' favorite recipes)  The soup can be frozen up to 2 months, so you can make double if you'd like.

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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