Okay so technically summer break is “over” but it’s still 80+ degrees in LA and I’m living for an outdoor dinner party and these Mediterranean Meatballs tossed on some herby pasta is exactly the kind of dinner I want these days.
I’m pretty sure it’s still summer in most of the country too. We just got back from Salt Lake City and San Francisco and it was well about 85+ most of those places! So let’s make the most of it shall we and break out a new Mediterranean inspired meatball recipe that gets tossed with some herby-tomato-y pasta from Delallo! It’s basically a mash up of my 2 favorite summer vacations recently – Greece and Italy – into 1 spectacular meal hence the Mediterranean meatballs!
First – let’s talk meatballs! Two summers ago when we went to Greece for a few weeks we ate ALL THE SPANIKOPITA. All of it. I’m fairly sure there was none left for the locals. One of the restaurants served Spanikopita Lamb Meatballs as an appetizer and I’m fairly certain my life changed in that very instant. The herbs and feta couples with the meat. Game over. Now I know we’re not all into lamb, so I opted for ground chicken for these – but know that you could also use ground lamb or turkey or beef!!
Now let’s talk about the Italian part of these! Pasta or as I like to refer to it… hard carbs, also my love language and also my favorite way to kick off a weekend. We’re using DeLallo pasta which comes from a town near Naples, very close to where we spent the summer a few years back in the Amalfi Coast. The Delallo pasta starts with the very best quality wheat which has the highest gluten index, gluten content and protein content… all of which affect how the past cooks, and how its tastes. Their pasta is slowly dried at low temperatures to mimic the traditional way of making pasta back in the old days. All of this means that when you cook the pasta – you’re getting the best result. Just boil it until al dente and then you’re in business. Grab the full recipe below and happy weekend-ing!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups finely chopped spinach
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- ¼ cups sliced green onions
- ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
- ? cup chives, finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely diced sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 lemon, zested
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lb Delallo Pasta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Scallions and Chives to garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the meatballs
For the pasta
- Combine all the meatball ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Form the mixture into small meatballs, just smaller than a golf ball.
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside and then continue cooking through for about 6 minutes more. Once the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
- In a large skillet, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and saute until they start to fall apart. Add the chopped garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and combine all the pieces into a summer greek meatball pasta and garnish with herbs and feta.