I try to keep costs at a minimum for most of my recipes and this one is no exception. Given that it’s January and we’ll all be tightening our belts, I made this dish with few ingredients and using chicken will add a whole new dimension of flavors.
Hold on to your hats because I have to confess that I even used dried basil and oregano and I’m happy to say that the dish did not suffer because of it, ha! That does not give you free reign to substitute dried for fresh in my recipes but have you noticed the price of fresh herbs lately? I am not growing any basil plants in the house this winter but I’m definitely going to start!
The ground chicken is a little pricier than beef but I wanted to keep it a healthier. Baking the meatballs keeps it on the lighter side as well and by sauteeing the veggies, you don’t have to add an egg for moisture. However, if you want the egg, go for it! Quinoa or whole wheat spaghetti is the best choice for your noodles.
The pomodoro sauce is quick and easy and you can use dried herbs here as well but the parsley should be fresh. Next time I make this dish I’ll do a double batch of the meatballs and sauce to freeze. I’m betting your kids would love the meatballs in their lunch!
National Spaghetti Day is definitely a reason to celebrate. There are so many unique and tasty ways to cook spaghetti and they can always be healthy. Join in the celebration today. Cheers!
- 1 pound (16 ounces) whole wheat or quinoa spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced ( I used 2 but I can never have too much garlic)
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 2 egg whites (optional)
- 1 cup panko
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pomodoro Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 28 ounce can of peeled tomatoes
- small handful of parsley, chopped
- 1.5 tablespoons basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- extra parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in small saucepan and saute garlic, onion and red pepper for 2-3 minutes until soft. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In large bowl combine chicken, egg whites (if using), panko, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well without over-handling the meat. Add garlic, onion and red pepper and mix well.
- Form meatballs with your hands. I like them golf ball size but any size is fine. Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until brown. Remove.
- Cook spaghetti according to directions, drain and rinse.
- Heat oil in large saucepan and saute garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes. Pulse tomatoes in blender until it forms a coarse puree. Add to saucepan with parsley, basil, oregano, brown sugar and salt.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, letting it simmer gently for 15 minutes until it thickens.
- Place spaghetti on individual plates and top with meatballs and sauce. Serve immediately.