Parmesan Meatballs & Orzo in Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce

Parmesan Meatballs with Orzo

Ingredients
  • 12 oz. orzo pasta
  • Parmesan Meatballs
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs*
  • 1 cup finely freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup dry chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • a couple splashes of milk
  • Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use lowfat)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 10 basil leafs, chiffonade**
  • Garnish (optional)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil
  • fresh parsley
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Parmesan Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (for easy cleanup). Add all of the Parmesan Meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined. Form meatballs into heaping 1 tablespoon balls (approximately 40 meatballs).
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat to medium high heat. Brown meatballs on all sides (I did mine in two batches), drain on paper towels then line on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 -15 minute or until cooked through.***
  3. Meanwhile, cook orzo pasta in generously salted water.
  4. Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce: Whisk cornstarch with milk, set aside.
  5. Melt butter in olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 60 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 3 minutes then turn heat to low. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, then heavy cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer while stirring constantly. Stir in Dijon and dry spices and continue to simmer until almost thickened, stirring occasionally. Add peas and continue to simmer until thickened and peas are cooked through.
  6. Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted. Stir in fresh basil and fresh parsley, followed by orzo and meatballs, adding additional milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste.
  7. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, and fresh parsley/basil and lemon (optional).

~ by accordingtoleanne on December 15, 2015.

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