October 21, 2010

Italian Turkey Meatballs (and a Happy Anniversary!)

I've never made meatballs before. Alex loves them (and meatloaf, so it goes hand-in-hand), so I decided to treat him on our anniversary. But since I've found that my recent purchases of Kosher ground beef have been unfortunately oversalted, ruining my attempts at anything decent, I went with ground turkey instead. Less fat, but still a good flavor. Ground turkey can be dry and bland on it's own, so it's important to add lots of spices! I upped the spice amount in my ingredient list, but feel free to play around based on your palate.

These came out great, with a really nice texture and the tomato sauce was light and fresh-tasting. If you're not Kosher, feel free to add a handful of grated cheese to the meatball mix, but we didn't miss it at all!

Baked Meatballs
adapted from Temple Aliyah's Even More Delicious cookbook
2-3 lbs. ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 bread crumbs (I used about a cup)
2-3 eggs (1 egg per lb of meat)
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh, minced
1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp black pepper
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 325.

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the meat, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt and spices. If it's too dry, add a tsp or so of water. If it's too wet, add some more bread crumbs. Mix until everything is well blended. Roll it gently into balls about 2-3 inches in diameter. (I baked them on a broiler pan, just to catch any fat drips.) Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they look done, but not crisp.

Meanwhile, blend the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes together in a large pot and bring to a low simmer. If you want, add Italian spices like rosemary, oregano, pepper, marjoram, basil, etc. It won't look like a lot of sauce for the amount of meatballs, but it works. After the meatballs are out of the oven, gently place them in the simmering sauce. Let them simmer for at least 1 hour, covered.

Serve over pasta.

Happy 3 wonderful years to my guy!