Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recipe: Turkey Meatballs

Last week I went to visit my college roommate, her husband, and their beautiful week-old baby boy.  It could not have been a more perfect day. We just sat and watched that precious little man sleep the day away, not a care in the world, and while he was dozing, I made the new parents a big 'ol batch of meatballs so they wouldn't have to cook all week.  For them, I used beef, which is totally acceptable and super delicious.  For you (and for me & the man this week at home), I'm going with turkey.  Feel free to mix it up however you like!  This recipe is an eyeball-it, kitchen-sink, ingredient free for all...if you don't have one or some of these ingredients, it won't really make or break the dish...just substitute any other Italian herbs in your pantry.  Experimenting is key!

1-2 lbs. ground turkey (or beef)
2 egg whites
1-2 handfuls of breadcrumbs (I tend to use Italian-flavored here but if you want a lighter meatball you could try Panko)
Minced garlic
Onion powder
Crushed red pepper flakes
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
Handful of grated Paremsean cheese

Two (2)- large cans tomato sauce
One (1) 8-oz. can tomato paste
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
1-2 bay leaves (be sure to remove these before serving!)
Salt & pepper to taste

I love a meal that cleans out the cabinets.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all of the meatball ingredients together and form into meatballs on a non-stick pan.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway through.

While the meatballs bake, mix sauce ingredients in a Crockpot or large stock pot.  Once meatballs are browned, place is pot and cook on Low 4-6 hours.

 fresh out the oven and ready for a sauce bath :)

Note: I noticed that the beef meatballs were sturdier than the turkey and that you may end up with more of a meat sauce if you use turkey meat.  I'd suggest cooking the turkey meatballs all the way through in the oven and make sure they have a nice brown "crust" around them before placing in the sauce.  They'll stay together better that way.

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