Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ricotta Florentine with Garlic Chicken Meatballs

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So it is gloomy, dreary, blizzard like conditions and COLD!!  I have my Yankee Candles lit throughout the house, my topiary trees are blooming with light... The "ambiance is amazing"... so what did this make me want to do??  COOK!! You so knew I was going to say that!!  *grin*

I wanted creamy, I wanted comforting, but I also wanted to watch the calories/fat content as well. 
Hmmmmm, ricotta cheese, and yolk free egg noodles.  The ideas were "a rolling".  I ended up revising an old favorite to make it lighter and less calorically dense.  Oh my goodness do we have a winner here!!  The kids and hubby were all over it!!

Ready for the recipe?
Here we go:

Garlic Chicken Meatballs:
1lb ground chicken (I used ground white meat)
1/2 small onion diced fine
1 large garlic clove minced/crushed
2 tbsp finely diced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (or a few micro plane grates of fresh nutmeg)
1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs
1 tbls grated Parmesan/Romano cheese grated
1 tbls canola oil
Pinch of salt
*note: if using unseasoned Panko bread crumbs add 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning to mixture*

Ricotta Florentine Sauce:
1 tbls canola oil
1/2 large onion diced
1 cup fresh parsley leaves roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves minced/crushed
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese or Romano cheese, grated
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or a few micro plane grates of fresh nutmeg)
2 cups chicken broth
1 pkg frozen spinach (defrosted slightly) or 1 bag fresh spinach
Pinch of salt
A few good cranks of black pepper

Gather your ingredients for your chicken meatballs.  Place in a bowl. Using a spoon, mix all ingredients very well till all ingredients are finely incorporated.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place a large saucepan filled with water on the stove, sprinkle with salt, cover and let come to a boil for the pasta.
Meanwhile, using a small cookie scoop, or your very clean hands, (I'll let you in on a dirty little secret about me, ready?  I can't touch ground chicken or turkey, just CAN'T do it, can't, so I use gadgets <sigh> ), make the mixture into small meatballs.  Place on an aluminum lined small baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, (I'm all about easy clean up here).

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or till nicely golden and thoroughly baked.

See how beautifully cooked they are?  They're crispy, golden, moist, very light and DELICIOUS!
Turn off the heat, leave your oven on warm and place back in oven to keep warm till ready to use.

*Pasta water should be boiling now, add your egg noodles to the water, stir and keep an eye on it*

Let's gather our Florentine ingredients:

In a large saute pan, add your oil, let it heat and add your onions.  Cook onions till they start to soften and become translucent.  Let's add our garlic and saute for about 1 minute more.  Now we add our spinach and fresh parsley.  Saute for another minute or so till everything is starting to defrost, soften and just produce an amazing aroma...
Add your spices and your chicken broth.  Let simmer for about 7-9 minutes till spinach and fresh parsley are completely cooked.  Turn off heat.  Finally add your cheeses, stir till all ingredients are well mixed, cover and set aside.

Egg noodles should be ready, drain and return back to pan with the ricotta sauce.  Toss egg noodles with sauce as to ensure that the noodles are evenly coated.  

Plate your noodles and sauce, and place as many little meatballs as you want per plate... 
Sprinkle with more cheese, grab your fork and say... "mmmmmmmmmm"!!!

 Join me my friends!!!!  Cheers

Kalisas Orekse!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. Looks delish!!! I am so happy I found your site! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Thank you Amy, it's so good and very light!!! Welcome!!! :-)

  2. I will try this one for sure....looks yummy! I need a chef this week, with all my trips to Tops!! I am exhausted. Almost at 4.00 off a gallon, will get that tomorrow. Happy Easter Didi!!!

    1. I'll be your chef!! ;-) WOW Lea Ann, look at you!! $4 That is awesome!! I'm at $2 as of last nite, and happy as a clam will use this promptly with hubby later!!

  3. Hi I just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to make this tonight for my family and it was awesome! I cant wait to try more of your recipes!

  4. Amy yay!!!! *Didi doing the happy dance*!!! I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed it. I thank you so much for trying and most of all the feedback!!! That means the world....
    Thank you again!!!

    1. I am so sorry to bother you but I was wondering if I can freeze this? I was thinking about making another batch and freeze for another time. Thank you in advance!

    2. Hi Amy! You never are a bother, I love talking to my readers... And myself!! ;-)

      As for freezing, hmmmmm I really don't know what the texture will be like when thawed for the ricotta cheese. Everything else should be good, but I've never frozen ricotta.
      If you try it or find out can you let me know... I would so appreciate it!!!

  5. Didi dear when it's cold I always want something creamy and comforting exactly like the dish you prepared! It looks awesome and I am sure it kept warm for many hours! I hope you are enjoying the holidays with your loved ones and I wish to you a very Prosperous and full of Joy New Year!

    1. Hi Katerina!
      Thank you so much for the well wishes my friend. Even though thousands of miles separate us, I wish you and your family a New Year filled with health, love, joy and prosperity as well!! ♥

  6. This looks delish Didi, I'll be printing this out for sure. I never see white meat ground chicken in my market, but have bought the ground white meat turkey and find it very dry. Do you grind your own chicken breasts? Also curious about this because I will be dieting again, and think this could be a dinner that will keep me on track, although I don't think using the regular ground chicken would be too fattening if I omit the noodles and add some extra spinach. Your thoughts, por favor. Oh, I'll be doing low carb/low fat :)

    1. Hi Linda,
      Tyson sweetheart makes a white ground chicken. If you can't find it ground turkey should work fine. We don't like the "gamey taste" of ground turkey, so I always sub a chicken!!

    2. I made this tonight with regular ground chicken and it is simply delish. I used fresh spinach and parm cheese instead of the feta. And I made the entire recipe for just me, and could probably eat it all, but didn't (will power?). So what are your recommendations for reheating the sauce?

    3. Linda I would use a little chicken broth to make it nice and fresh again!!!
      Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know!!!

  7. Hi Didi, first time visiting your blog. I like your food philosophy.

    I always get the craving to cook when the weather is dreary-It's therapy! Great dish. Thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Velva,
      Thank you for stopping by.
      I love your name by the way, very different!!

      I agree, when weather is dreary,, oh man oh man... stews, soups, muffins, breads, all the good stuff!!


  8. This sounds great Didi! I am going to make it. I saw on bakerella a contest that sounds right up your alley. Happy new year!

  9. Hi Craftmom!
    I'm so happy you stopped by!!
    Bakerella you say? I will have to head on over, thank you!!

    1. You are welcome! I love your recipe from today, I am going to try that one too. my family is going to love the new recipes. it seems like I always make the same old same old.

  10. I made this tonight and it was amazing. To be honest with you, I have never made chicken "meat"balls. They turned out fantastic and my extremely picky children licked their plates. Thanks Didi for the wonderful recipe and very full tummy!

    1. Yay!!!!! *Didi doing the happy dance*
      I am so glad you and your family enjoyed the dish!!
      I love chicken meatballs, they are so light and crispy!!
      Thank you so much my friend for coming back and letting me know!!

  11. OMG Didi...when I spied this dish over on your Facebook page today, the first thing that came to my mind was "heaven on a plate!" For me, this would be the ultimate comfort food and knowing I could indulge in it healthfully makes it even more tempting! Well done my friend!

    1. Thank you my sweet, sweet friend!! Coming from you that means a lot!! ♥