Pesto and Chicken Meatball Bake Recipe


This new pasta bake recipe will soon become a family favourite. Combining a speedy homemade spinach pesto, tasty chicken meatballs and mozzarella topping, this cosy recipe is sure to be a winner.


Serves 6 - 15 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook - 538 calories / serving



Ingredients
400g pack chicken sausages
500g conchiglie pasta
2 sweet pointed ramiro peppers, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm strips
2 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
300g frozen spinach, defrosted, excess moisture squeezed out
60g pecorino (or Italian-style hard cheese), finely grated
150ml vegetable stock
30g pack basil
125g half-fat mozzarella, sliced

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Preheat the oven to gas 9, 240°C,
 fan 220°C. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Squeeze the sausage meat out of its casings and roll into cherry-sized balls. You should be able to make 4-5 balls from each sausage.

Cook the pasta in the boiling water for 7 mins until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 100ml of the cooking water.


Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs for 4 mins. Add the peppers and cook for 5-6 mins until the meatballs are browned and the peppers are starting to char.

To make the pesto, blitz the spring onions, spinach, pecorino, vegetable stock, most of the basil and the remaining oil in a food processor 
until smooth; season with pepper.

Return the drained pasta to the saucepan. Stir in the pesto, reserved cooking water, meatballs and peppers. Tip into an ovenproof dish, top with the mozzarella and bake for 15 mins. Season with black pepper and serve scattered with the reserved basil leaves.



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