Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Meatball Montage

I had an entire post written about this dish -- how it's a combination of recipes from Mario Batali (the sauce) and Giada de Laurentiis (the meatballs), and how I'm starting to wonder if I have some kind of weakness for Food Network stars with Italian-themed shows. And then Blogger ate it. And now my happy meatball mood is in danger of vanishing in a burst of Blogger irritation.

And that would be a shame, because these are really pretty darn good meatballs. So here's the recipe, and just imagine that it appears here after a droll analysis of my obsession.

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Mario Batali and Giada de Laurentiis

Serves 4, more or less.

1/4 c. plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 c. chopped Italian parsley
2 large eggs, beaten
2 T. milk (not skim)
3/4 c. grated pecorino romano, divided
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
ground oregano or marjoram
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 c. olive oil
5 c. tomato sauce (see recipe below)
1 lb. long pasta

Add the milk, salt, and pepper to the beaten eggs. Stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, and 1/2 c. cheese. Add the milk mixture and toss together, then add a few shakes of the oregano or marjoram and mix well. Add the turkey and mix together gently in as few motions as you can manage.

Put your salted pasta water on to boil. Cook the pasta as you work on the next meatball steps, stopping when it's about thirty seconds away from al dente.

Shape the meat mixture into bite-sized balls.

In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the meatballs to the pan in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. You're looking for a golden-brown, seared crust on these little guys, so cook them on each side for about three minutes without turning or jostling them about as they sizzle.

When all the meatballs are done, remove them while you pour off any excess oil. Return the meatballs to the pan and add the tomato sauce, stirring gently to coat all the meatballs. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for about five minutes until everything's heated through.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir to coat. Sprinkle with remaining romano.

Tomato Sauce

Yields about 4 cups, so you'll need some extra for the meatball recipe.

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 T. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 med. carrot, shredded
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic together and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and palest brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook until the carrot is starting to think about breaking apart, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and their juice and mix. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring frequently, then lower the heat. Simmer about 20 minutes, until it thickens to a consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper.

Freezes nicely.


  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Travel Italy said…

    If you reduce the garlic and/or keep them whole to then remove the cloves before serving you may find a smoother taste. We use turkey because the meat is not as strong as the beef.

  • At 2:04 PM, Blogger BNA said…

    Welcome, David, and thanks for the garlic tip -- I'll try that with the next batch. But first I have to try the Ragu’ con Funghi Porcini on your site, because it sounds amazing.

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger Dawn said…

    What a bummer that blogger ate your post! I had that happen once (or twice?) but I was lucky enough to be able to use that 'recover post' button on the page where you create a new post and saved one of them!

    All I want to know is if anyone has made a meatball sandwich yet?! My fave way for meatballs! These look good.

  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    I can't believe I haven't made a meatball sub, Dawn -- I LOVE them. My mission is now clear.

  • At 11:17 PM, Blogger darlamay said…

    OMG! I hate it when blogger eats my posts! It's happened to me twice already! I guess your description was too good for it to pass up!

    I'm always looking for a good meatball recipe-- we love meatball sandwiches-- or "grinders", thanks!

  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    So THAT'S what a grinder is...something I always wondered. I think these would be good on a sub, but you might want to add extra sauce, since they're not as juicy as pork or beef meatballs.


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