Taste the Air-Chilled Difference®

Chicken-Apple Meatballs With Pasta & Butternut Squash

by , Chef, Bottega Americano, San Diego, California

Chicken-Apple Meatballs With Pasta & Butternut Squash

Serves 4 to 6

    • Meatballs
    • 1 pound ground Smart Chicken
    • 1 Granny Smith apple, grated and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
    • 2 teaspoons chopped sage
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 egg
    • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Pinch of white pepper

    In a large bowl, mix all ingredients well, then refrigerate for one hour.

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a 1-ounce scoop, scoop the mixture (keeping it in a small ball) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should end up with about 40 (1-ounce) meatballs. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove from oven, and allow them to cool.

      • Pasta
      • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
      • 4 cups butternut squash, diced medium
      • ¼ cup canola oil
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • ¼ cup olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
      • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
      • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
      • 8 cups baby spinach
      • 1 lemon
      • 4 tablespoons butter
      • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
      • Salt and pepper to taste

      Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta as directed on box; reserve 2 cups of the pasta water for the sauce. Let the pasta cool and reserve. Toss the butternut squash in oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Let cool and reserve.

      In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, shallots, garlic, and chili flakes. After two minutes, the ingredients should be fragrant. Add the butternut squash, pasta, and the pasta water. Cook for two minutes more; the pasta and squash should be warmed through. Add the spinach, lemon juice, butter, half of the Parmesan cheese, and the chicken meatballs. Continue to stir until the butter is melted and the spinach is wilted. A thick creamy-looking sauce should form. Split between 4 bowls and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

      Pairing: Coronado Brewing Company’s Golden Ale, or Au Bon Climat’s Pinot Gris or a Pinot Blanc from Santa Barbara County