Monday, August 25, 2008

Penne with Turkey Meatballs

This is another recipe I have had on my list to try for a long time. I always seemed to bypass it in favor of other recipes that seem more exciting. I'm so glad I finally took the time to make this yesterday. I make some pretty delicious meatballs but these are some serious competition. I'm thinking the addition of the pancetta is what took them over the top. Mine got a little crunchier than intended. I left them in the oven while I prepped the sauce and subsequently preheated the oven for my semolina bread forgetting the meatballs were still in the oven. I like mine crunchy so it was not a problem. The sauce on this dish was really good. Next time, I would probably double the sauce because I like mine saucier (if thats a word!). A perfect dish for a Sunday dinner! Note, the recipe in the Everyday Pasta cookbook that I refer to below differs significantly from the online version.

Penne with Turkey Meatballs
Source: Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentis

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I omitted)
2 eggs lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 lb linguine (I used penne)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and cut into pieces with kitchen scissors
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil (I added some dried basil)

To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 450.

Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat. add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook until the pancetta is crisp and the onion is tender, about6 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl combine the pancetta-and onion mix with the remaining meatball ingredients and stir to combine. Form the turkey mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter, using about 2 tablespoons for each and place on a foil lined and greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, warm the 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, parsley, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Discard the garlic cloves. Add the cooked meatballs and the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the reserved pasta water, about 1/4 cup at a time, if the pasta needs moistening. Arrange on a serving platter and top with the basil.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

these look great! i have the everyday pasta cookbook so i will be bookmarking this on your recommendation!