Making Mama Mia Meatballs

Category Italian
Here is a traditional Italian meatball recipe, served with tomatoes, garlic and lots of cheese over pasta. Make and freeze these for a quick weeknight dinner.


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Now, This is Italian! I found this recipe while I am doing my cook book scrap booking. It's real name is "Orecchiette Mini Chicken Meatballs". What orecchiette means is simply small oval pasta. I looked through every brand in the supermarket there was no pasta by that name. The closest I could get was Barilla's Pipette. It looks like small snails. It works! I added my own different tweaks.

Total Time: About 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Remade a recipe I found


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat parsley, chopped
  • 2 large eggs (I use Jumbo), lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb Barilla Pepite Pasta, or any small oval pasta
  • 1 -1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 large clove of garlic, pressed right into the mix
  • a good sprinkle of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 4-6 slices fresh Ball mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped


  1. Put on a pot of water and cook the pasta until al dente. drain and put aside. Reserving some pasta water if needed.
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  3. Using a large deep covered skillet. Put the olive oil in the skillet.
  4. To make the meatballs; in a medium size bowl, put your bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Mix this well. Add the chicken and stir until it is all combined. If it is too wet, put a little more bread crumbs in. I put the bowl in the freezer for 2 minutes. It made it easier to form the meat balls.
  5. Roll small meatballs. Their recipe said to cook in the oil, I chose to put them in a pan in the oven. It eliminates them from breaking up when turning them over. It worked. I only baked them for 10 minutes in the oven at 350 F. I finished cooking them in the skillet, and they were nice and firm.
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  7. Add chicken broth, garlic, diced tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. A good sprinkle of Italian seasoning.
  8. Transfer the hot pasta to a serving bowl and add the Parmesan cheese. Toss lightly. Adding a little reserved pasta water if needed. Add the entire meatball mix over the pasta. Add the shredded mozzarella.
  9. Sprinkle fresh basil and lay a few slices of fresh mozzarella. Now, This is about as Italian as it gets! The flavors are terrific. I had a feast tonight. :)
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