Thursday, June 10, 2010

Recipe Fifteen - Meatballs and Pasta

This recipe, found on page 151, was another winner flavor-wise. As far as labor was concerned, I felt like it was too much work! This is probably because I've never been a meatballs-in-sauce kind of person, opting instead to just crumble and brown the meat so it's evenly distributed in the sauce.

The sauce had a very rich flavor so a little bit went a long way over your pasta. It wasn't like the traditional tomato sauces that you're used to having with meatballs, like the classic marinara. It was a bit sweet due to the balsamic vinegar and the caramelization of the onions. It also came together fairly easily. I used tomatoes that I stewed myself (toss about a dozen very ripe tomatoes that you have peeled and seeded, along with their juices, a few crushed cloves of garlic and some basil in a slow cooker set on low for 4 hours then pick out the garlic, let cool, and freeze in 14 oz portions) instead of the canned tomatoes. I also used twice the garlic the recipe called for because I like garlic. We forgot to get fresh basil when we went grocery shopping, so I had to go with a couple teaspoons of dried.

I have to tell you, I will forever be grateful to the ladies of the NSBR board on Two Peas for cluing me in that I can mix meatballs in my stand mixer! No more goopy hands!

I'm a dummy and used way more meat than called for, because as I noted previously, the ground turkey that I buy comes in 1.25 lb packages and I like to mix in some ground pork sausage for flavor. This means that I probably used close to 2 lbs of meat when the recipe called for just one. I also didn't double anything else in the recipe, which means that my meatballs were probably underseasoned. They were actually quite good though, which leads me to believe the rosemary might have been too strong as written in the directions.

If I were smarter, I would have mixed the two meats, divided it in half, then froze half to use for something else. Whoops. As it was, I divided the meat as directed into 24 meatballs then cursed Jamie Oliver when he said they would cook through in 8-10 minutes. Obviously, my giant meatballs did no such thing! It wasn't until later that I realized my error.

I didn't use the red chile called for in the recipe, as usual, but I did decide to live dangerously and add a heaping 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes to the sauce. I know, I'm a maniac!

This was served over organic cavatappi that I purchased from the bulk bins at Whole Foods because it was pretty. I grated some fresh Parmigiano Reggiano over the top. My carb loving boy actually liked the meatballs better than the pasta! Go figure.

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Blogger Samara Link said...

I like the little set up you're doing with all your ingredients when you post a recipe. It really helps to see everything together like that. :) So clever!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

That looks so yummie. The pasta is really pretty. I've been bad and haven't made anything out of my Jamie Oliver book in a while, it's grillin' season here!

12:50 PM  

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