Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You won't know they are... Turkey Meatballs with Penne

So, inevitably my menu already had a small change. When I saw the vast quantities of meatballs and pasta, I 86'd the wedge salad and we will have it another day.

I am dedicating this recipe to my brother in law--he eats turkey burgers every day and for the love if I see him eating another dry turkey burger in my current pregnant condition--I might just scream. This recipe keeps the turkey nice and moist and has so many great Italian flavors I really don't think most people would realize they are eating turkey.

The thing about turkey--beware! Not all ground turkey is created equal. If you grab any old ground turkey it is often just as fatty if not more so than ground beef due to the "parts" used. They put in dark meat, skin and even some parts not normally fit for consumption. Be sure to buy a nice "ground turkey breast".


Turkey Meatballs
1 lb. ground turkey breast
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 slices of whole wheat bread--I saved the the heels for this application
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP dried basil
1 TBSP dried parsley
1 TBSP onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cloves of minced garlic
generous amount of salt and pepper

Slice the bread into small cubes like the size of a small crouton.

Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well mixed and bread has become well incorporated. Measure balls with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and roll into balls. I always measure so they are equal size and cook through evenly. I got 10 balls out of this pound of meat.

Drizzle twice around the pan with some olive oil. There is hardly any fat in the turkey so it needs some help plus the olive oil will add some great flavor. Just make sure to drizzle and not pour--these are healthy after all and should not end up greasy.

Brown the meatballs for several minutes on all sides until each side is golden brown. You are not worried about cooking through at this point. As you see from the picture below...there is no excess fat in the pan when finished browning. This is nice to see :-)

While browning the balls, select a jar of marinara--brand of your choice and start to simmer on low. Don't spend a lot on something expensive because the meatballs are going in and will give the sauce their flavor.

When the meatballs are browned evenly on all sides--add them to the sauce and toss to coat in sauce. Cover with lid and cook on medium low. Cook for at least 20 minutes--the longer they cook the more flavor transfers to the sauce. Feel free to let these go as long as you want. Just watch the pot and turn down the heat if the sauce starts bubbling too much.

What I normally do is cover the meatballs and then start the water for the pasta. I let the balls cook as long as it takes me to cook the pasta. I served this over the Barilla Plus Penne. I like the flavor more than whole wheat pasta but it still has a ton of protein and fiber in the pasta!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Torry - I made this for dinner on Saturday and it was great! And I did make them with no help from Mark (which is a rare occurance as I usually whine and he comes to help me). The only thing I would suggest is to have more sauce available. One jar didn't seem to be enough for us. Thanks!


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