Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkey and Arugula Meatballs

I really do enjoy a plate of spaghetti, but to tell you the truth, I had never made meatballs before this. I admit I was a little scared, but I did a little research before hand to calm my nerves. And then I decided to invite Tim’s parents over for dinner. Yikes! 

I’m just really glad that everyone liked it. The meatballs were just like most meatballs, except they were made of turkey (read: healthier), had a secret surprise in the middle (read: cheese!) and had some chopped arugula added in (read: pepperier, which isn’t a word, I know, but who cares?). Add in some jarred pasta sauce, some whole wheat spaghetti, and you have a healthy, delicious meal that is fancy enough for company, but simple enough for everyday. 

Sad part was that I didn’t take a picture before we ate them all. I still have a few meatballs in the freezer, so someday I will take them out and take a picture, or maybe I’ll just make some more. For now, I’m gonna borrow a picture. Yum!

Warning: this makes a lot of meatballs! Be prepared to invite lots of hungry people over, or freeze some for an easy weeknight meal. 

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Turkey and Arugula Meatballs
Serves 4 (with extra for another meal)

1 lb. ground turkey
½ yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
½ c. chopped arugula
2 eggs
¾ c. heavy cream
1 c. breadcrumbs
Mozzarella, cut into ½ in. dice
salt and pepper
flour, for dusting
olive oil
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti

1. Mix together in a large bowl with your hands turkey, onion, garlic, basil, parsley and arugula until just blended. Squish in the eggs and heavy cream, and then add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until mixture holds together in a ball.
2. Using an ice cream scoop (or just eyeballing it), form turkey mixture into 1” diameter balls. Wet your hands if the mixture sticks to you too much. Squish the ball into a patty, put a piece of cheese in the middle, then close to form a ball again. Put meatball on baking sheet. When the mixture is all in ball form, dust a little flour over the top of each and roll around until a thin coating is on all sides of each meatball.
3. To brown meatballs, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Brown meat balls in batches (don’t worry if they squish into patties, it happens). Remove from pan to a plate. If you are making this ahead of time, feel free to cover and refrigerate until ready to be used.
4. When ready to finish the dish, empty the jar of marinara sauce into a large sauté pan. Add in half of the meatballs and heat over medium until sauce is bubbling. Reduce to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until done. You will have to sacrifice one meatball to see if they are done, but it’s well worth it.
5. While the sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta on a large platter with the sauce and meatballs on top, family style. Serve with a fresh green salad and some garlic bread.


Also, this will be my last post for arugula. Next month: Apricots! 


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