Spaghetti and chicken meatballs in a creamy marinara sauce

IMG_2814It’s the middle of a mundane week. A rather slowish start to the week. I’ve managed to surpass the Monday morning blues, with vivid images of a delightful day spent at beautiful and picturesque Sonoma. We visited some great wineries to savour local Californian wines, set amidst scenic locales and gorgeous summer-like weather. Come Wednesday, it’s time to throw in some wine again along with our dinner, and inside our dinner, literally! A peek inside the refrigerator has me ogling at a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, it’s still filled with adequate wine to go inside the meal and alongside the meal:-). I also set eyes on a container of mascarpone cheese. Luckily, I have all the ingredients stocked in my pantry and fridge, to make pasta in a marinara sauce. Canned crushed tomatoes, wine and mascarpone cheese for a creamy sauce. Spaghetti, to add the carb-component to the meal. Organic boneless chicken thighs as the protein, which I decide to convert into rustic yet flavourful chicken meatballs. Along with herbs and spices to add some fragrant flavours to the dish.

Servings 4

Ingredients

Spaghetti – 10 oz.

IMG_2803White wine – 1/4 cup

3 cups unsalted crushed tomatoes, canned

1 tomato, finely chopped

1/4 cup each of, chopped carrots, onions and celery

1 bay leaf

Chopped garlic – 1 tsp.

Dried oregano – 1/2 tsp.

A sprig of fresh thyme

Paprika – 1 tsp.

Red chilli flakes, to taste, depending on how spicy you like the sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp.

Mascarpone cheese – 2 tbsp.

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese – 2 tbsp.

 

For the chicken meatballs

Ground chicken – 1 lb.IMG_2804

Crushed dried fennel – 1/2 tsp.

Breadcrumbs – 2 tbsp.

Chopped garlic – 1 tsp.

Paprika – 1/2 tsp.

Dried oregano – 1/2 tsp.IMG_2805

Dried basil – 1/2 tsp.

Ground mace – 1/4 tsp.

A pinch nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

IMG_2809Olive oil, to pan fry the meatballs

Mix all ingredients for the chicken meatballs. Shape into small golf size balls. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the meatballs for a couple of minutes and set aside. The meatballs will finish cooking when simmered in the sauce.IMG_2807

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan or Dutch oven. Add the bay leaf, thyme sprig, oregano.Add in the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté over mediu

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m low heat for 8-10 minutes, add a little salt. When the veggies are slightly soft and translucent, add garlic. Sauté for a minute. Add IMG_2810the white wine and sautefor a few minutes till the wine evaporates, but IMG_2811leaves behind it’s great deep flavour! Add paprika and red chilli flakes. Sauté for another minute. Add all the tomatoes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add the meatballs. Cover with a lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 30-35 minutes, tillthe meatballs are cooked. (If it gets a little thick, add a little water). Remove lid. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir well.

 

 

Boil the spaghetti in salted boiling water, till it still has a bite to it or al dente, to be precise. Drain well and immediately add to the sauce. Stir and add freshly ground black pepper. For cheese lovers, you have the liberty of grating fresh Parmesan as a final touch!

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