Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Easy and Delicious Spaghetti and Meatballs

I love this dish, a simple Italian favorite from Giada De Laurentiis (food network page here). The turkey meat means it's low-fat, but most people can barely tell the difference between these and the typical veal meatballs. I recommend making it for any occasion, but in case you're concerned about trying your hand at homemade meatballs, I've compiled a small list of reasons why you should make this recipe:

1. You're a twenty-something who can't remember the last meatball you had that didn't come from a Chef Boyardee can

2. You're having a dinner party (everybody loves a good meatball)

3. You're visiting your parents and want to show them how mature you've become by displaying your mastery of the culinary arts (thereby assuring them that you can make more than Ramen noodles)

Now that I have you convinced, go grab these ingredients!

1/4cups breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs!)1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley2 large eggs, lightly beaten2 tablespoons milk1/2 cup grated romano cheese3/4 teaspoon salt3/4 teaspoon pepper1 lb ground turkey1/4 cup olive oilTomato sauce

Mix all the ingredients besides the turkey and the oil together in a bowl.

I just love the texture of grated cheese!

Now add your turkey meat and mix the whole mixture together carefully. Don't be afraid to get dirty - using your hands is a satisfying feeling!

Now, shape the meat into balls. Giada's recipe suggets tiny bite-sized ones, but I prefer a thicker meatball. 

Line them on a plate, wash your hands, and heat the olive oil in a pan on medium-high.

This would also be a good time to start boiling your water for pasta, depending on what thickness of noodle you're using (add a little earlier if fettucini, closer to meatball-cooking time if spaghetti). I used angel hair - the contrast between super-thin pasta and thick meatballs is delectable. 

When the oil is hot, add the meatballs, leaving some space between each one.

While your waiting for them to cook, add your pasta to the now-boiling water.

After about five minutes, flip your meatballs. They should be a toasty brown on the bottom side.

Wait another five minutes, allowing the meatballs to finish cooking. (Tip them on their sides if they're still a little pink on the edges.)

Next, add your tomato sauce to the pan and bring it to a boil. I didn't happen to have my favorite jarred sauce on me, so I whipped up my own out of crushed tomatoes and thin sauce.

Once the sauce has boiled, lower the heat and let it simmer for five minutes.

While your waiting, drain your pasta.

Spoon the meatballs into a serving dish and top with additional romano cheese.

Pour your pasta into the pan and coat it with the remaining sauce.

Serve it up, and watch your guests' amazement as the bite into these delicious homemade meatballs!

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