Friday, April 9, 2010

Mini Turkey Meatballs in Simple Tomato Sauce

Oh goodness, what a fiasco. I have definitely learned that meatball making is an artform. My poor meatballs. I ended up with more just meat chunks as my meatballs fell apart in the pan. There was only a few surviving meatballs. It was quite a disaster in the fry pan.
I think what I did wrong was not mix the ingredients well enough. My meatballs were sort of falling apart as I placed them in the pan to begin with. I also was paranoid about them being cooked through so I cooked them for a lot longer than the stated directions.
The tomato sauce was simple and yummy. I really want to find a tomato sauce that I can make on my own this year as I'd like to get away from buying the jars. I was able to freeze about half the sauce for another meal- another big plus in my book.

All in all, it was an adventure to make, but I'm not sure I'd do it again for awhile. They took way more hands on time than I expected and lots of hands on time right at dinner time is hard for me right now.

Mini Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
Printable Recipe
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg
1/4 c dried bread crumbs
3 Tbs ketchup
1/4 c fresh parsley
1/4 c Parmesan
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground turkey
3 Tbs olive oil
26 oz Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Add all ingredients except olive oil and tomato sauce in a bowl. Mix with hands. Shape the mixture into 1 inch diameter meatballs.

2. Heat the oil in a large fry pan. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides. (Original directions say 5 min, I cooked mine closer to 15 min)

3. Remove meatballs. Add Simple Tomato Sauce to pan and heat. Add meatballs back to pan and let flavors blend and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve over pasta or serve meatballs by themselves with toothpicks.

Simple Tomato Sauce
1/2 c olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and pepper
2 (32oz) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves

1. In a large pot, heat oil over high heat. Saute onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Add celery and carrots and saute until vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves. Simmer for 1 hour, covered.

2. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the tomato sauce to a food processor and process until smooth.

Notes: Makes 6 cups. Freeze for up to 6 months.

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