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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

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So, I got a new cookbook for Christmas. Ina Garten’s How Easy is That? Ina is hands down my favorite chef. On my list of the top five people I would want to have dinner with, she’s definitely an invite (ok, I would beg, plead, grovel, you get the point… and while she’s there, she could go ahead and cook the meal, right? 😉

Anyway, since one of my 2011 resolutions is to try a new recipe every week, I went right to work. I read the book from cover to cover, savoring all her delicious words and tips. I came across a recipe called Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti that Ina created after eating at Mario Batali’s restaurant… need I say more? I knew I had to try them.

And oh-my-goodness! They are DIVINE!!! I am not exaggerating. The meatballs are easy to make and definitely healthier since you use ground turkey instead of beef and bake them instead of fry them, but you will swoon over this dish! Please, go make them tonight! You won’t regret it! And while you’re at it… buy this cookbook! Every recipe looks amazing, and if this one is any indication of the rest of the book, yumm-o! To go alongside my turkey meatballs and spaghetti, I toasted a whole-grain baguette and served it with some olive oil with Italian spices and crushed red pepper in it. Oh, and I found a deal on Italian turkey sausage, so I used that instead of pork and used a little more sausage in place of the prosciutto. De.li.cious.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs
via Smells Like Home
source: Ina Garten, How Easy is That?


Ingredients:

3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed
2/3 cup whole milk
2 lbs ground turkey (88% – 92% lean)
1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good olive oil plus, extra for brushing meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (24-oz) jars good marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
2 lbs dried spaghetti, such as De Cecco
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

1. Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.

3. With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.

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