These are yummy chicken meatballs with pancetta, onion, garlic and parsley, glazed with tomato paste. Topped with the peperonata, and squeezed in between a fresh panino (your choice) or serve with a side salad, makes for a really yummy meal.
- 3 red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ tbsp drained capers
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ⅛ tsp hot red pepper flakes
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ⅔ cup of milk
- 4 oz sliced pancetta, finely chopped (I buy the ones in the package already cubed)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large egg
- 1.5 lbs ground chicken
- 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
- Preheat oven to 400F with racks in upper and lower thirds
- Toss bell peppers with 1 tbsp olive oil, then roast in a 4 sided sheet pan in lower third of oven, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 35 minutes.
- Stir together capers, vinegar, red pepper flakes and remaining ½ tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl and set aside
Make Meatballs while Peppers Roast:
- Soak breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl until softened
- Cook pancetta in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 5 minutes, add onion and garlic and ½ tsp each of salt and pepper in a skillet over medium heat – probably for another 5 minutes. (I don’t cook the onions and garlic with the pancetta because the onions and garlic will burn). Let cool.
- Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, pancetta mixture, bread and milk, and parsley. Toss together and form about 12 meatballs in a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Stir together 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste and 1 tbsp olive oil and brush over meatballs. I use a spoon then rub the mixture with my finger gently on top of meatballs. Bake in upper third of oven at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, just until cooked through. Don’t overcook.
- Toss Bell peppers with caper mixture.
- Serve meatballs with peperonata.