Chicken gravy and meatballs with multigrain spaghetti

  • Preparation Time40 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the chicken meatballs

450g minced chicken
2 large elephant ear garlic cloves, finely minced
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
60g grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp light extra-virgin olive oil

For the chicken gravy

90ml light extra-virgin olive oil
2 fresh sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves elephant ear garlic, minced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/4 yellow sweet onion, chopped
1 small shallot, chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 (790g) tins crushed plum tomatoes with basil
450ml chicken stock
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
6 leaves fresh basil, torn
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dry white wine
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 tsp chopped parsley leaves

For the spaghetti

1 (410g) box multigrain spaghetti
1 tbsp grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
Crusty Italian bread, for serving
Side salad, for serving
1) In a mixing bowl mix together the minced chicken, garlic, parsley, cheese, beaten egg, salt and pepper.

2) Loosely shape the chicken mixture into meatballs no bigger than the inside palm of your hand. Should yield about 12 (4cm in diameter) meatballs.

3) Heat the olive oil in large nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Sear all sides of meatballs in hot oil until golden brown and a little firm to the touch.

4) Gently remove meatballs from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a flat dish lined with paper towels. Cover with cling film while preparing the chicken gravy.

Chicken gravy:
1) Remove the frying pan from the stove, scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon and pour the scrapings and remaining oil into a large nonstick pan (at least 5.5L in size).

2) Add 60ml of olive oil and heat over a medium heat. Saute the rosemary for about 5 minutes then remove from the oil and discard. Add the garlic and saute about 3 minutes, until aromatic and golden brown.

3) Add the red onion, sweet onion and shallot and saute for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the tomato puree and saute for about 5 minutes, blending with onions and garlic using wooden spoon.

4) Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and oregano. Add the chicken meatballs and bring the gravy to a low boil. Lower the heat to very low, cover the pan and cook the gravy for 45 minutes, stirring at least every 15 minutes so gravy does not burn the bottom of the pan.

5) Uncover pan and add the white wine, sage, nutmeg and 1 tbsp olive oil. Stir and simmer on a low heat, uncovered, for another 35 minutes, stirring at least every 15 minutes. The gravy should thicken and become a deep red colour.

6) Stir in the cheese and 1 tbsp olive oil and leave to cook while you prepare the pasta.

1) Prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions.

2) Spoon gravy on a large serving platter, top with cooked spaghetti dotted with chicken meatballs.

3) Cover with gravy. Sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with extra gravy on the side, crusty Italian whole-wheat bread, and a salad with Italian dressing.

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