By Tristen Phipps
Pasta and chicken go together like peanut butter and jelly. I’ve lived on pasta and chicken through my college years, whether it was chicken-flavored Ramen or something more legitimate like chicken Alfredo, I was all over it.
After three years of the pasta, chicken, pizza diet, my taste buds decided they were tired of chicken and pizza. I’m still in search of a pizza alternative, but I’m stoked that I found a chicken alternative that makes my mouth happy.
Ground pork and pasta go together like avocado and turkey. They still make a sandwich just like the classic PB & J, but there’s just something about the combo that makes it a bit more satisfying, a bit more elegant, if you will.
This recipe was inspired by a chicken and pasta dish. In fact, the original recipe instructs you to use chicken and premade pasta sauce. So, if you’re feeling normal, go ahead, but if you’re feeling something new, you have got to give this a try. The creaminess is heavenly.
ORECCHIETTE PASTA WITH PORK MEATBALLS
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 pound ground pork
1/2 large onion, diced in food processor
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pasta and Sauce Ingredients:
2 cups orecchiette pasta
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled, processed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup parmesan-romano cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
Fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine panko with milk. Let stand until milk is absorbed. Then, add pork, egg, onion, parsley, sour cream, salt and pepper.
Shape mixture into 1 to 1 1/4-inch balls and place in a single layer in a nonstick pan coated with olive oil. Sear meatballs for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
Remove meatballs and place in a single layer on a coated cooking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Be sure to check that the internal temperature of the meatballs is at least 160 F after removing them from the oven.
Pasta and Sauce Directions:
Cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Reserve pasta water before straining noodles.
Remove skin from tomatoes and place in blender or food processor until they are finely diced.
Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pan. (You can use the same one you used for meatballs, no need to rinse it.) Once warm, add garlic cloves, sauté. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, let sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add cheese and heavy cream. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as sauce thickens. Add pasta and meatballs.
Sprinkle with parsley.