Cheers To A Happy Meatball
I often enjoy spending lazy weekends watching Food Network. I’ve only seen a couple episodes of Giada At Home, but she tends to feature Italian style recipes that are fairly easy to make. Considering it was a lazy Saturday, I didn’t have the energy to write down the recipe or look it up online, so I just took what I could remember and then changed a few things to make my own interpretation of Spaghettini All'Amatriciana with a side of Happy Turkey Meatballs (what my roomie and I named them because happy is what they made us).
* All'Amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce base on guanciale (dried pork cheek), pecorino cheese, and since the late 18th century also tomato. (thanks wikipedia)
I get really focused/distracted while cooking and forget to document each step of the process with pictures, but I’ll try to be detailed in the instructions. When bacon and cheese is involved, you really can’t go wrong…
Ingredients for Happy Turkey Meatballs:
1.5 lbs Ground Turkey
1/2 cup chopped Italian Parsley
1/4 grated White Onion
2 lg handfuls of Breadcrumbs (Italian if available)
1 lg Egg
1 small handful shredded Pecorino Romano (or the best Parmesan you can afford)
1 good squirt of ketchup
5-6 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce (if you got it)
5-6 dashes of Hot Sauce (i.e. Tapatio) or a good pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Olive Oil for baking sheet
1.Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
2.Lightly grease baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil
3.In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for ground turkey and mix with hands
4.Once mixed, add ground turkey, add about a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt(less if fine grain salt) and mix evenly, making sure to not work the meat too much or it will become less tender and moist.
5.Round mixture into meatballs about 2” wide or so and place evenly apart on cookie sheet.
6.Bake in oven for about 17-20 minutes. They will turn golden brown and the cheese will slowly start oozing out. Yummmmmm
If making the pasta too, you will want to start boiling a large pot of water when you pre-heat the oven for the meatballs. Add some salt to the water to induce boiling.
Ingredients for Spaghettini All'Amatriciana:
1lb/box of Thick Spaghetti
1/4lb chunk Pancetta cut into small pieces or 4 slices Thick Cut Bacon cut into small pieces
1 Onion halved, then thinly sliced (left over from meatballs)
1 14oz can of crushed Red Tomatoes ( I use the Italian ones that come in a 28oz can, and use a tiny more than half)
3/4 cup of White Wine
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Red Chile Flakes
1 large handful of Pecorino Romano (you could always add more later)
1/2 cup Pasta Water reserved
1.Once meatballs have just been put into the oven, drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2.Add Pancetta or Bacon and sauté for a few minutes.
3.Add the sliced onions and lightly salt to soften. Let cook for about 4-5 more minutes.
4.Pour in white wine and let reduce about 2 minutes.
5.Put pasta into water and cook till al dente (chewy and tender)
6.Add red chile flakes and toss, then add crushed tomatoes and Simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
7.Add pasta water
8.Add Pecorino Romano and mix till it melts.
9.Drain Pasta, add to sauce and toss so that it coats the pasta evenly.
10.Serve immediately with a side of Happy Meatballs and wine.
Most all of the recipes I post are very easy to make, but if anything isn't clear, i'd be happy to answer any questions.