Classic Homemade Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti

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It’s been a while since I last posted but there is so much material I have stocked up that I hope it makes up for my absence.

After coming back from my 2 month long relaxing India trip, I am really pumped up to try new things at home. Both me and my husband are really fond of meatballs. It’s one of our staples that we like to have at least once a week. My husband generally avoids red meat so we mostly go for Aidell’s caramelized chicken meatballs from Costco. I always had the impression that meatballs are very complicated to make at home, but surprisingly they are pretty easy and I got them right on my first try (which is a very rare event..:P).

So here is the process-

Total time: 40-45mins

Makes 25-30 meatballs depending on the size.

Ingredients:-

Meatballs

  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup, optional
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 pound ground dark turkey meat
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to season
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1.5 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Recipe:-

For the meatballs:

  1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, ketchup, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions. Mix well using a spatula. Add the ground turkey. Gently mix all the ingredients using your fingers until thoroughly combined.
  2. Form the meat mixture into balls (25-30 meatballs approximately). Place the meatballs on a nonstick baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

For the tomato sauce:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the basil, the fennel, oregano and tomato puree. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated through. Thin the sauce with chicken stock, 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Serve with grated Parmesan alongside and some slices of freshly toasted french bread.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/classic-italian-turkey-meatballs-recipe.html

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Baked Orzo

I have always been tempted to buy Leek, but didn’t know how to cook it. But this time at farmer’s market I could not resist the temptation, so I went ahead and bought a bunch. I browsed some recipes online but finally went ahead with my own. Here it goes:

You need:

1 1/4 cup orzo
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound (4 ounces) turkey, thinly sliced
3/4 cup fresh or frozen carrot & peas
1/2 cup mozzarella
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
salt as per taste
Few grinds fresh black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Fill a medium pan with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add sliced leeks and cook until translucent, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Fold in the turkey, carrot, peas and orzo, stir well, and cook until all the ingredients are warmed through. Fold in the cheese and set aside off the heat to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Fold the orzo mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Scrape the creamy orzo into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned along the edges and the center is set completely. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve hot with freshly toasted Ciabatta. ENJOY!