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Baked Orzo with Turkey Meatballs THE CHEW

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A delicious recipe you’ll just have to try!

ingredients
MINI TURKEY MEATBALLS:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 pound ground turkey (50/50 blend)
1/4 cup white onion (peeled, grated)
1 egg (beaten)
1 clove garlic (peeled, minced)
1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
TOMATO SAUCE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion (peeled, finely diced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, finely minced)
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes (crushed with hands)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Mini Turkey Meatball Orzo Bake:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 16- ounce package dried orzo
3 cups tomato sauce
25-30 mini turkey meatballs
1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella (grated, divided)
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)
1/4 cup parsley (roughly chopped, to garnish)

directions
For the Mini Meatballs: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, cover the breadcrumbs in milk and soak for 1-2 minutes. Drain the breadcrumbs and squeeze any excess moisture out with fingers.
In a large bowl, combine the milk soaked breadcrumbs, turkey, onion, egg, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, and mix with your hands to incorporate. With a 1-inch scoop form about 20-25 meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Set aside.
For the Tomato Sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and warm through. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano and basil. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add orzo and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Add tomato sauce and 1/2 cup of mozzarella to orzo and stir to combine. Gently fold in meatballs and transfer to prepared baking dish. Cover the top of pasta mixture with remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, garnish with parsley and serve.
Tip: Make a large batch of turkey meatballs and freeze in a zip-top bag to have on hand for a weeknight meal or party appetizer!

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