A slightly low carb treat (Chicken and pancetta meatballs with pepperonata)

This post is out of control beautiful because I was house sitting when I shot it at my friend Jennifer's house.  She is a trained chef so she has the good stuff, and her kitchen is new, clean, and has a ton of natural light.  It was like the stars aligned for this awesome meal.

When I started my little to no carb lifestyle I was cooking for more than me which caused me to look outside the box more often.  I made this one early on and my taste tester  was very impressed.  I served it then with some oven roasted kale.  That is nice if you need it, but this lady was full on just the meatballs and pepperonata.

Y'all this is so good and healthy.  It is a great lunch or a weeknight meal.  The peppers are so good, the chicken meatballs are so great, and when you put them together it is a flavor explosion!

The pic was taken at my desk, not indicative of what is to come, but that is where the finished product was assembled.  These two are a match made in heaven. 
The simple cast of characters.  For the meatballs, I am not sure what happened to the peppers!
I usually am not a big fan of onions in my burgers and meatballs, but I didn't even notice them.
The pancetta adds so much flavor!
I love the rich color of the yolk.  Fancy yard eggs are worth it!
Roll them on up!
Well there you are peppers!  Such a vibrant color!
Make a yummy marinade for them.
I let them marinate over night, but you don't have to do it that long.
I didn't like what was happening in the oven.
I decided to give them a little pan fry. To impart color.
Even though it didn't need any more color than a schmear of tomato paste.
After a ride in the oven these are slightly crispy and very tasty!  What flavor too!
Chicken Meatballs (Adapted from Epicurious)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, pancetta mixture, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs.  Heat oil in an oven safe pan (maybe use the one from before) and cook the meatballs for a few minutes each side until browned. Stir together tomato paste and remaining tablespoon oil and brush over meatballs, then bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve meatballs with pepperonata.

Pepperonata (Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart)

5 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In medium bowl, combine the peppers, red-pepper flakes, and thyme. Add the oil and vinegar, and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit, at room temperature, for 1 hour or more.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread peppers on a baking sheet, and bake until tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 

Happy cooking!


Linking up with Meal Plan Monday over at Southern Plate and others!

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