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DSC02664These balls are perfection. I’ve toyed with several different preparations  in the past and this version is now codified as the only Italian meatball recipe I need. Who doesn’t like moist, tender, flavorful meatballs? Some worry that turkey will not turn out juicy because it’s so lean, but I prefer the lightness. I would eat and serve these without any pasta and with some fresh bread for the sauce. The sauce, by the way, is also my new favorite. It’s perfectly sweet and fresh tasting, unlike my usual spicy sauces. It really isn’t that hard to make your own sauce. If you have the time, you can let it warm for a few hours, but if not it is still good and ready in the time it takes to prepare your other ingredients. Finally mastered this classic!

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Ingredients:

(for the balls)

1 lb lean ground turkey (90-95%)

1 small onion, minced

1 each baby yellow and orange bell pepper, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 c Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, dried oregano

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

1/4 c grated fresh Asiago

few dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 large egg

(for the sauce: yield 3-4 cups)

2 16 oz cans crushed tomatoes (or fresh would be great if you  have more time)

1 c red wine

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

1/4 c chopped fresh parsley

2 pinches sugar

1/2 lemon squeezed

3 tbsp unsalted butter

shaved Asiago cheese

salt, pepper to taste

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Directions:

1. Add meatball components in a large bowl, mix in turkey with clean hands (unlike Paula Dean, I take my rings off) to form medium-sized balls. An eyeball measurement is smaller than a baseball, larger than a golf ball.

2. Heat large skillet with 3 turns olive oil, medium-high heat. Add balls carefully, one at a time and not touching each other. DO NOT MOVE them around! Sear for 3 minutes, turn and repeat, then remove and set on a plate.

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3. Using same skillet, add tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Cook on high until alcohol is neutralized, reduce heat. Add chopped basil, parsley, lemon juice and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Stir in butter and shaved cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Return meatballs to sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.