Meat balls are a favorite American dish. Some people even believe that it is "Italian food". But, I think otherwise. My Italian sister refers to them as "bawls of meat". Typically, a lump of ground beef is fried then drenched in tomato sauce and served over pasta, in a sandwich roll or on top of a pizza. This version is healthier as the meat is chicken and the ball isn't fried, but roasted.
The recipe comes from Epicurious, but of course, I modified it. I made a quick sauce inspired by my Maine-iac sister of sliced garlic and equal parts raspberry preserves and ketchup.
1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
4 cloves smashed garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup diced pancetta
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Heat an oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sautee pancetta in a skillet. After the pancetta gets brown and crispy, remove it from the pan and place on a cutting board. Place garlic and onion in skillet and cook until soft, about 4 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley. Remove from pan and let cool.
Chop the pancetta, very finely. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs and milk. Let the crumbs soften and absorb the milk. Stir in the pancetta. Add the cooled onion mixture. Add the ground chicken.
Form into tablespoon size balls - try and keep them all uniform in size.
Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving a space in between.
Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the meatballs are cooked, by cutting one open. There should be no pink inside.
Maine-iac's Meatball Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup raspberry preserves (or other flavor preserves)
4 -6 sliced garlic cloves
dash of soy sauce
Heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Stir until combined. Serve