I apologize for being gone from the blog for 2 weeks. Just way too much happening in the kitchen and not enough time to post! I love the munchkins, but they have been home too much and I just can't seem to get much done. Snow, snow go away, come again maybe next year! Gee! Rain has never been more welcome in Seattle!
And what do I have for you today? Meatballs! No really! There are so many recipes out there for the perfect meatball, and at this point I have tried so many, I can't seem to categorize them. There are some I have really liked, some I thought were so-so, but haven't really come across any that were a goner. So, is this the perfect meatball recipe? Not by a far stretch. To begin with, IMHO, the perfect meatball has a mixture of meats - pork, lamb, and beef (I don't do veal). This one, is turkey! But wait! I promise it is very very good. Nope, does not taste like dried mashed cardboard. The key is to use lean (not extra lean) turkey, and the ricotta is very nice. These make a very tasty, and quite mild meatball. The kids absolutely love them, and I haven't seen any adults complain either :-)
So if you want a change from red meat, are trying to eat more poultry, or simply have some ground turkey to use up, give these a try.
As goes cooking methods, you can saute them in olive oil if you want, but I just usually bake them in the oven. Less messy and a prefect way to make a big batch and freeze for later use. A loves pasta and meatballs as a hot lunch to school, and it is oh-so easy when you have frozen meatballs and marinara sauce on hand. Also works great for nights when making dinner seems like an Olympic marathon. You get the drift.
Serve these with a nice homemade marinara sauce, a simple tomato sauce, or a good quality jarred one if you prefer. Me, I like spaghetti, but you could use whichever pasta you choose. I guess depends on how white your shirt is and how much slurping you're in the mood for :-) A glass of wine, a nice tossed salad, and perfect!
Turkey Ricotta Meatballs
Adapted from Nate Appleman and Simmer Till Done
Serves 4 - 6 (24 meatballs)
4 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed and cubed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen, cooked and pressed to remove excess water
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Pulse bread in food processor a few times till you get fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add all the ingredients in a large glass bowl and toss lightly with your hands till well incorporated. Do not compact the mixture too much, or the meatballs will be tough and leathery.
3. Scoop small portions of the mixture and shape into 1 1/2 inch diameter balls.
4. Place meatballs on a lightly greased foil-lined jelly roll pan. Cook 25 to 30 minutes till well browned and cooked through.
5. Simmer in sauce for 10 - 15 minutes if you are serving immediately. Or cool down, wrap in foil or freezer-safe storage bag, and freeze for later use. To reheat, simply simmer frozen meatballs in sauce.