Death by meatloaf.
This is how Logan refers to the first meal I ever cooked for him. I can still remember the look on his face as he attempted to swallow a bite of my unbelievably dense, breadcrumb laden, should-be-covered-by-an-assault-weapons-ban meatloaf. He was either trying desperately not to choke or he was contemplating spitting it out in my general direction, exclaiming that this relationship was not worth the abuse, and heading for the door.
Needless to say, I haven’t made meatloaf since…except for that one time when a brick on the side of our building needed to be replaced.
And then the other week, Kath from Kath Eats posted about her sun-dried tomato meatballs, which she served over wilted greens and pasta, and I have been thinking about that dish ever since. I decided that I am now ready to bake meat again…although this time I made meatballs instead of meatloaf, so it would hurt less if Logan threw one at me from across the table.
I went with a chicken and sage meatball, and I’m pleased to say that dinner was a success. What I love most about this dish is that it’s a complete meal in one bowl, a nice combination of protein and carbs, and you get an extra kick of nutrition from the greens. And best of all, it’s simple with minimal clean-up aka a perfect weekday supper.
Chicken-Sage Meatballs and Baby Spinach over Pasta
Makes approximately 18 meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup panko or breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 turns freshly ground black pepper
Baby spinach, washed and dried
Your choice of pasta (I used Barilla Plus high protein thin spaghetti)
Your choice of pasta sauce
Percorino romano cheese, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together the chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, garlic, sage, worcestershire, salt, and pepper.
Roll the chicken mixture into golf-ball sized balls, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
To prepare the dish, top the cooked pasta with your choice of sauce (I did a simple olive oil and garlic sauce for myself, Logan had a tomato-basil sauce) and top with the spinach and meatballs. Sprinkle with pecorino-romano cheese if desired.