Monday, September 29, 2014

Whole30 Turkey Meatballs

Italian is one of my favorite cuisines and I could probably survive on pasta alone. Basically, I love carbs, in any form. The tricky part is that they tend to love me too...and stick around! I always figure that if lean protein is added to pasta it sort of balances out that carb equation (see earlier post for my logic on girl math). One of the best and truest Italian staples is the meatball. Have you ever had one that was just so light and flavorful that it blows your mind? I have. And normally they are loaded with milk soaked bread, cheese, and some type of binder. Although I'm not Italian I think I've mastered a pretty good meatball that is healthy, free of dairy, and gluten. 
These are so delicious and come together quickly for a great weeknight meal.
For the meatballs I used a large mixing bowl and added everything in at the same time. I started with a 20 oz package of lean ground turkey breast and to it, added, a clove of garlic and about a tsp of onion (both grated),1 Tbl fresh chopped parsley, 1tsp fresh chopped basil, salt and pepper, a sprinkle of dried basil and oregano, and plenty of red pepper flakes. Mix it lightly, just until combined and scoop the size meatballs to your liking.
I prefer smaller meatballs so you get more! Place on a foil lined baking sheet and cook in a 425 degree oven for about 12-14 minutes depending on the size. 
Pull them just slightly under completely cooked and plop them in the simmering marinara to soak up those wonderful flavors. Read on for my marinara recipe.
I always find myself pressed for time and turn to regular store-bought marinara for weekday cooking but what I do to it tastes homemade, like I've been simmering it for hours. Love those semi-homemade tricks! Here's how I made my sauce, aka gravy to those Italian readers.
In a sauté pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and  2 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp of onion grated. I would normally add the onion minced because I like the texture it gives but Sean can detect any trace of onion so I sneak it in. Sauté on low for a minute or two and deglaze the pan with a little wine.
 I used red because it was open and in my wine glass but you could use white as well. Reduce the wine to about half and add your jarred sauce. 
Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and finish with fresh herbs like parsley and basil. That's it! Takes about 6 minutes and jazzes up any sauce. 
Serve with any type of pasta you like, I used penne here,
Or serve over roasted spaghetti squash "noodles" for a healthier meal. *still delicious even without Parmesan, although a little sprinkle would take this over the top!
Sigh. It was good! But not as good as his I'll bet!


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