Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

 

 

What is it about Italy that we love so much? Is it the salty cheese, the robust straight outta Nonna’s garden tomato flavour, maybe the bellissimo eye candy?! I was lucky enough to visit the homeland (I’m 1/4 Italian…actually Sicilian but who’s counting), and let me be the first to say that these people do not mess around when it comes to cooking, eating, and feeding. Every other shop we walked passed was food related…standing room only espresso bars, bakeries where you can grab an amaretti cookie or two, gelato on every street corner (which we did…daily!)…or you can just stand and soak in all the tall dark and handsome around you, don’t you just love eye candy? Delicious with no calories.

i-love-italy

Then of course there’s pasta and bread as far as the eye can see. Pfffffffft, what a tease, stupid gluten allergy. That being said, Italy did kick it up a notch in the gluten free department, sadly not every restaurant was up to speed, and that’s putting it nicely. One place actually tried to serve us a plastic frisbee and call it pizza, of course it was on a day that my sister decided to order gluten free as well so we could have a full blown pizza party. But then the frisbee comes to the table… she looked at her plate, then up at me, followed by “I’m not eating this!”

pizza-frisbee-1

Fear not it wasn’t all bad, Mmmmmmm those delizioso meals, so I thought why not remake an Italian classic my way. Where full flavoured tomato sauce and soft melty goat cheese meet a bed of perfectly cooked zucchini noodles. But here’s my culinary spin… I’ll top it with chicken Parmesan meatballs. It’s like the ultimate comfort food. Plus with all this cold yuck outside there’s nothing more satisfying than an ooey gooey cheesy Italian meal to warm your belly, and how much fun is it to say “Parmesan”, said in my best Italian accent.

paleo-chicken-parm

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Ingredients:
Serves 4
Meatballs
1 lb ground chicken (I prefer to use dark meat)
½ cup almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 egg
2 tbsp dried oregano
2-3 garlic cloves crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta
4 zucchini spiralized
1 jar of White Linen brand tomato sauce (don’t you just love Costco?!)
1 small package of soft Celebrity brand goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Now I know what you’re thinking, where’s the Parmesan??? Don’t worry, I just subbed it out for goat cheese, but feel free to use any cheese your dairy lovin’ heart desires.
First, preheat your oven to 400 then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next, in a small bowl mix all of your meatball ingredients together then form into, you guessed it, BALLS!!! The size is totally up to you, but my batch made 14. Then onto your cookie sheet they go and into the oven for about 24 minutes (flip at the halfway mark) obviously the time will vary based on the size of the meatballs, you don’t want a raw meat surprise in the centre.
When your meatballs are at the half way mark toss your zucchini noodles into a skillet with a drizzle of avocado oil and get that going over medium heat, once you hear the sizzle add on the jar of tomato sauce then turn the heat down to medium low and crumble on your goat cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and just let it do it’s thing.
zucchini-noodles
Once everything is ready plate it up, zucchini noodles first then top with some meatball love. Zucchini noodles side note… I always find when I make “zucchini” pasta that I have to cook each portion in it’s own pan or I end up with a giant zucchini noodle knot. So if you’re planning this meal for a large group two words… good luck! You may end up having to eat it like a funnel cake…pass out the forks and dig in!
chicken-parmesan-meatballs-1

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