Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spicy Turkey Meatballs

Have you ever had a kitchen accident that made you nervous about cooking a specific dish? One time I added WAY too much Italian seasoning to a batch of meatballs and completely ruined them. They were so bad that we ended up throwing them out and I went a few years without attempting to make them again. I have no idea why, but that one mishap stayed with me. (It's kind of like when I just stopped wearing shorts in high school. It took me years to get over my issues surrounding shorts for some reason.)

Anyhoo, when I saw this recipe for Spicy Turkey Meatballs I know it was time to get back on that horse. My trust in Ina Garten is pretty unshakable at this point and the ingredient list is so full of flavor I knew this had to be a keeper.

And boy was I right.

These meatballs are so good I couldn't stop eating them. We had meatball sandwiches and meatballs with spaghetti and I still wanted more. I don't want to sound melodramatic, though I am, but these are the best meatballs I've ever had. Seriously, YUM.


I was extremely happy with the combination of turkey and sausage. I 'm not a big fan of prosciutto so I used a slice of bacon instead. Just that one slice added a subtle smokiness that was amazing. I ended up making the meatballs through step three and storing them in the fridge until the next day when I reheated them in tomato sauce. They were just as good so it'd be really convenient for a party. My only complaint is that my meatballs flattened out when they baked. Though it made it easy for the sandwiches, it wouldn't be as pretty if you wanted to serve these as an appetizer. Maybe refrigerating the meatballs before baking them would help? I don't know. Besides that keep in mind that this recipe makes an insane amount of meatballs. I cut it in half and still had 16-18 meatballs.

Would I make this again? I don't know if I'll ever make any other meatball again. These are amazing.

Spicy Turkey Meatballs
via Smells Like Home


3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed
2/3 cup whole milk
2 lbs ground turkey (88% – 92% lean)
1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good olive oil plus, extra for brushing meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (24-oz) jars good marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
2 lbs dried spaghetti, such as De Cecco
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

1. Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.

3. With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.


4. Pour the marinara into a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.

5. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package. Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with 3 meatballs and lots of sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's quite a testimonial. I never (literally never) make Spaghetti and Meatballs because my mother's recipe, as I grew up, was so horrific I simply hated it. Like you and those shorts in high school. I just knew every meatball in the world was as bad as Mom's and I stopped ordering them and never ever would make them, either. But your "no tolerance policy" is like mine -- we just shake our heads NO until something makes us shake our heads YES, so, I'm going to shake my head yes and try this recipe soon!