We buy fresh organic ground chicken each week for a variety of dishes. Most often, we enjoy homemade chicken sausage with smoked paprika and fennel seed. It’s easy and makes for a great brunch or dinner item. This last week I decided to use the ground chicken for another favorite ~ meatballs. This time with my favorite herb of the season, fresh sage. These meatballs are so easy to make and stand up well to a soup or sauce or sandwich. For this meal, I served them with sautéed kale, pumpkin farfalle that I found at Trader Joe’s and a garlicky, sage white wine butter sauce. Although I didn’t do this, adding a shaved parmesan to finish the dish would be fantastic. Consider this recipe for a weekend or midweek meal. Serve with a nice green salad and a good glass of wine.

Makes 4-5 portions



  • 1 lb pumpkin farfalle (or other pumpkin or plain pasta of choice)
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 2 T fresh garlic, minced (approximately 3-4 cloves)
  • 1/3 C fresh sage leaves, whole (approximately 10)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 C organic chicken broth, store bought or homemade
  • 1/3 C white wine (we used a sauvignon blanc)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt


  • 1 lb organic ground chicken
  • 1/3 C shallots, minced (approximately 4 shallots)
  • 2 T fresh garlic (approximate 3 – 4 cloves) – plus more for sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 2 T fresh sage, finely chopped, plus more for sauce
  • 1/4 C fresh organic Italian parsley, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 C breadcrumbs, unseasoned
  • 1 farm fresh egg, lightly whipped
  • 2 T heavy cream


  • 4 C fresh organic lacinato kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T fresh garlic, minced (approximately 2 cloves)
  • 1 T shallots, minced (approximately 1 shallot)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt


  • 2-3 T organic Italian parsley, rough chopped
  • lemon wedges
  • 1/2 C shaved parmesan (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium large stock pot on high heat, add water and a couple tablespoons of salt, bring to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to directions. For the sauce, grab a medium size stock pan on medium heat, add olive oil, butter and onion. Saute for a minute or two. Add garlic, sage leaves and chili flakes and sauté for another minute. Add chicken broth, white wine and salt. Bring heat up to a medium high for two minutes, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until pasta and meatballs are done.

In a medium size mixing bowl add ground chicken, garlic, shallot, lemon zest, sage, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, egg and cream. Mix until well incorporated. On a parchment lined sheet pan, begin laying out evenly formed meatballs about 1″ to 1-1/2″ balls (making them all the same size ensures equal cooking). Bake in oven for 10 minutes. While meatballs are cooking, sauté kale. This only takes a few minutes, so you can time the cook on kale with the bake on the meatballs. To a large sauce pan on medium heat, add olive oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Saute for 3-4 minutes and add in chopped kale. Saute for 3-4 more minutes until kale is wilted and cooked, but still green. Season with salt. Add cooked pasta and kale into the warm white wine butter sauce.Toss so everything is well coated.

TO SERVE: In pasta bowls, serve equal amounts of pasta to each bowl. Top with 3-4 meatballs. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley, a lemon wedge and if so desired, a few pieces of shaved parmesan or pecorino.