Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 3 Week 9 – Everybody loves a good meatball

Wednesday was all about spaghetti and turkey meatballs. As usual, this recipe comes from Real Simple. In this issue of the magazine there was a feature on family recipes. Stories about mothers and daughters and the recipes they share. I love how food can take you back to some of your favorite memories. There was a quote from this daughter about her mother..."When we spent an afternoon together, I loved cooking this recipe with her, which was handed down from my Sicilian great-grandmother. What I loved more, though, was the way my mother left the business world outside and focused on me."

There is a lesson there for me. Amelia already shares my interest in cooking. She has been watching Food Network since she was a baby. She is constantly asking to help out in the kitchen. I hate to admit that sometimes I discourage her because it will take more time and there is always the inevitable mess that she will create. This article made me think... I want Amelia to grow up and have fond memories of us sharing our love of cooking together. And wouldn't it be great if she passed down one of these recipes to her kids and told them about how her favorite part was that I forgot about the to-do list I had planned for the day and focused on her. Look at me, I'm growing!

I just had to show this step of the meatballs. They are gorgeous even before they are cooked!

The main event. Seriously, does it get any better looking than that? Yum!

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs
4 TBSP olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (28oz can) tomato puree
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (2oz)
2 TBSP chopped fresh oregano, plus more for serving.
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 large egg
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
16 saltine crackers, finely crushed
12 oz spaghetti

Heat 2 TBSP of the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over med heat. Add the onion and HALF the garlic (very important. I missed this part and put all of the garlic in the meatballs. Oy Vey!) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree and paste, sugar, half of the Parmesan, 1 TBSP of the oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1.5 cups water. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 30 min.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Add the turkey, crackers, the remaining Parmesan, garlic, and oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Shape the mixture into 12 meatballs (about 1.5 inches each)

Heat the remaining 2 TBSP of oil in a large skillet over med high heat and cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add to the sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens, 25 to 30 min.

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Serve with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and oregano before serving. Oh and loosen your belt buckle.

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