Monday, April 27, 2009

Spaghetti and Turkey-Parmesan Meatballs

I'm a huge fan of Martha Stewart. I have always admired her creativity, knowledge of food and all things domestic, and how she built her little catering business into the empire it is today. I looked past the snobby 'tude and just took in the knowledge she was sharing.

Back in the 80's my family lived in Weston, Connecticut right in Martha's backyard. My mom attended a luncheon that was catered by Martha. I don't know exactly what happened at the luncheon, but the story my mom tells is that everyone liked the food, but no one liked Martha. She was full of herself. Hmm.

When I moved back to Connecticut in 1997 I became a bigger fan. I used to watch the show. I liked the old show that she shot in her Westport studio. It was more interesting to me when it was less glam.  She would do the same things that she does now - it just wasn't as slick.

I was really excited when she started the magazine. I wouldn't have to sit in front of the tv with a pad and paper to quickly write down the recipe. Now we have the internet to look up all the details. And she publishes cookbooks too. It just gets better and better.

I subscribed to her Everyday Food magazine for a couple of years. But I couldn't keep up with the recipes - so I gave up. Now I just buy the book that condenses the good recipes from the year into one nice book!  

There are several recipes that I like in the cookbook Every Day Food. Great Food Fast that I make on a regular basis. The Turkey Meatballs recipe is by far the most popular. Everyone likes it and it's easy to make. I make a bunch of meatballs all at once. I set aside those that I want to eat that day, and flash freeze the rest on a cookie sheet before putting them in a ziplock. Now I have meatballs ready whenever I want them. 

For a really quick dinner I brown the meatballs in a pan with some diced onion. Then add a jar of pasta sauce and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite pasta, some fresh parmesan-reggiano and garlic bread. mmmm,mmmm,mmmm 

* photo from
Spaghetti with Turkey-Parmesan Meatballs 

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup fresh Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound spaghetti

1. Make the sauce: In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Make the the meatballs: In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with a fork. Stir in onion, breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley. Add turkey, mixing until combined. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls.
3. Coat a large saucepan with oil oil, turn on medium high. Brown meatballs until seared on all sides. Add meatballs to sauce, spooning sauce over to coat. Cover, and cook over medium heat until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
4. While meatballs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until al dente, following package instructions, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta, and toss with remaining tablespoon oil.
5. Add sauce and meatballs to spaghetti in pasta pan, and toss to coat evenly. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.


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