Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spaghetti Rigati & Parmesan Turkey Meatballs

The finished product (note to self- next time take the photo THEN add the cheese)
Safe to say it was delicious & served as leftovers for tonight so I got a break from the kitchen!

Jim (my husband) LOVES when I make meatballs, so I decided to try this variation last night. Most people use egg as a binding agent, it also helps keep your meatballs juicy and moist inside. I decided to use less egg and freshly grated parmesan cheese to help keep the meat balls moist AND add a great sharp flavor. The meal turned out delicious! I don't know if the way I make meatballs is technically correct, all I know is they turn out perfect each time. The great thing about this recipe is if you don't like the sharpness of the cheese leave it out and use one whole egg instead (you'll see what I mean below), AND you will still have a great tasting meatball!  I strongly suggest trying this recipe when you have about an hour to kill before serving dinner. (OMG! It's my first recipe post, this is too much excitement for me)

Serves: 4-6

Finely dice half of a large onion and a couple sprigs of parsley & add to  1 pound of ground turkey meat.

Add minced garlic, 1/2 an egg white (beaten), a 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan, salt & pepper to taste and combine well. 

Form doughnut hole sized balls with hands and roll in seasoned bread crumbs.  Do not drench the meat ball in bread crumbs you want a light coat all over. 

Your meatballs can really be of any size, in my house Jim thinks the bigger the better! Just remember the bigger the meatball the longer it will take to cook inside.

Coat a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil and heat. Add meatballs when oil is hot, and brown. Turn frequently to retain ball shape and prevent over-browning. 

Remove from heat and set aside.  
(If your meatballs are on the larger size, pick the largest one and cut open to check for done-ness)


In another pot (an 11 inch rondeau if you have one...I <3 this pan!), coat pan with olive oil, heat to a medium, and sautee diced onions, sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas here) and minced garlic. 

Add in 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of tomato paste and 1-2 medium sized roma tomatoes (cut into eighths). Stir together to combine turn heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stir in salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste. ( Usually I also add in one chopped basil leaf but was out last night) 

Meanwhile cook spaghetti rigati per the instructions on your packet, usually five minutes if you like your pasta with a little bite or al dente. Drain the spaghetti, reserving a 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and set aside.

Add cooked spaghetti & the reserved pasta water to your sauce and toss well. Add in reserved meatballs and toss well with tongs, carefully, so as not to break the beautiful meatballs you just made! 
Remove from heat and serve, top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy with a nice glass of wine! We sure did! 

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