Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken Pasta Soup with Mozzarella Toasties

Dinner: 10-May-2011

My MIL has declared this the best ever chicken meatballs... so it has to taste pretty good, even though my daughter declared she didn't like it (I think it was the presence of onions & vegies that she didn't like, really... LOL!)  They were really easy to make & tastes real nice too... without all the added yucky stuff you find in commercial chicken meatballs...

Recipe from: recipes+ mag, May 2011 issue, pg 13

DIY idea:
1. Replace meatballs with sausages. Trim ends from casings & squeeze meatball sized balls into pan.
2. Use spaghetti instead of angel hair pasta.
3. Process 1 slice day-old white bread for crumbs.
4. Halve quantities if you have little freezer space.

Note: If not freezing soup, omit step 3 below.

serves 6
Preparation: 30 mins
Cooking: 15 mins

Meatballs to be cooked
For Chicken Pasta Soup:
700g chicken mince
1 clove garlic, crushed (or 1 tsp bottled garlic)
1 large brown onion, finely grated (diced finely)
Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
3/4 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs (I used a wholemeal bun & processed it myself)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1 litre (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken stock
2 cups frozen vegetable mix
Meatballs cooked! Yum!
100g angel hair pasta, broken into 6cm lengths

Mozzarella Toasties:
12 thick slices white bread (I used Turkish buns cut into half)
1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese

For Chicken Pasta Soup:
1. Combine mince, garlic, onion, chilli, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parsley and 1/3 cup parmesan in a medium bowl. Mix well then shape heaped tablespoons of mixture into 36 balls.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat. Add meatballs; cook and turn for 5 mins or until browned.
3. Place stock in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over moderate heat. Add vegetables. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins or until veggies are just tender. (If not freezing, go straight to step 5).
4. [TO FREEZE] Layer rows of meatballs between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container; freeze (for up to 3 mths). To reheat, thaw meatballs and stock mixture in fridge overnight. Place stock mixture in a large saucepan.
Finally all done! Dinner!
5. Bring stock mixture to the boil over moderate heat. Add pasta; gently boil for 5 mins or until pasta is tender. Stir in meatballs; cook for 2 mins or until heated. Season. Remove from heat. Stir in extra parsley.
6. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle with extra parmesan. Serve with mozzarella toasties.

For Mozzarella Toasties:
1. Preheat sandwich press (or grill).
2. Sprinkle half the bread with cheese. Top with 1 remaining slice.
3. Cook toasties in batches, in sandwich press for 2 - 3 mins or until mozzarella melts & bread is golden.

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