One thing I noticed as I unpacked my pantry items was that I had waaaay too much pasta! So, that meant spaghetti and meatballs! And, I knew right where to look to find a new recipe to try….Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) newest cookbook, How Easy is That? I had that amazing opportunity to meet Ina in person at a book signing (you can read about it here)! I absolutely adore her! What I wouldn’t give to watch a living taping of her show! This recipe is the first recipe I’m testing from her newest book!
Spicy Turkey Meatballs
Source: Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?
3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed
2/3 cup whole milk
2 lbs ground turkey (88% – 92% lean)
1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good olive oil plus, extra for brushing meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (24-oz) jars good marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
2 lbs dried spaghetti, such as De Cecco
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.
With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.
Pour the marinara into a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package. Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with 3 meatballs and lots of sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.
Is It a Keeper?
These meatballs were perfect! You would never know that they were turkey either. There is so much flavor packed into this recipe, with a little zip from the crushed red pepper. Just enough to amp up the flavor factor but not too spicy. I absolutely LOVED the texture too! The whole family liked these. It gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from my clan!
I highly recommend picking up a copy of Ina’s cookbook too! It’s definitely a keeper! The recipes are pretty easy and she really shows you how to entertain effortlessly! And, there are so many great recipes in there — like Lemon Chicken Breasts and Cranberry Apple Cake and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower and….(I could go on and on and on)!
Do you have this cookbook (or any other Ina Garten book)? If so, what’s your favorite recipe?
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