Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce

Growing up, Franco-American Spaghetti was one of my favorite meals.  I was ten.  I would have at least two cans a week for dinner, and each time I would close my eyes and think I'd gone to Italian heaven. 

Canned noodles.  Nothing says "healthy" like it.  As an adult, I bought some Franco-American SpaghettiOs and some Chef Boyardee Ravioli.  I was feeling particularly nostalgic, and was in a Dorothy moment.  You know, clicking my heels and saying, "There's no place like home, There's no place like home."

Little did I know, the Wicked Witch was in those cans.  Whoa.  Really?  I thought those were good?  It's not like I have a sophisticated palate.  Believe me.  I *heart* Night Hawk frozen dinners to this day.  In fact, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had one a month ago. 

However, canned noodles can forever be taken off my "likes" list.  Instead, I am going to fix this recipe below and PRETEND it is from a can that will take me back to when I was ten.  I will PRETEND all I have to worry about is making it in front of the TV for the Donnie & Marie show, worry about my not-necessary bra, and hoping that a certain Michael Hinkleman will ask me to couples skate.

Turkey Meatballs with Quick Tomato Cream Sauce
Adapted from Evil Shenanigans


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 - 12 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar (I used a packet of Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream (No heavy cream in the house!  I used 2% milk, and it was just fine to me.)

1 pound lean ground turkey
2/3 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper (I used LOTS!!)
1 pound rotini, or whatever noodle floats your boat.

Heat the olive oil in saucepan until it simmers, then add onion and cook until softened (about three minutes).  Add garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring for about a minute.  Add tomatoes, thyme, oregano, salt and sugar.  Just throw it all in there and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer.

Pour mixture into blender (I used a food processor), along with basil and combine until smooth.  Pour sauce back into pan and bring back to a simmer.  Mix in cream and turn off heat.

Turn on broiler, and spray cookie sheet with oil.

Combine turkey, carrots, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, and egg.  I added a little more bread crumbs than suggested to make mine a little more dense.  Add herbs, salt, pepper and cheese, and mix well.

Roll meatballs onto cookie sheet.  These are about two tablespoons each, and you should be able to get 25-30.  Top each with a dash of paprika.

Bake under broiler for 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 F.

While meatballs are in the oven, prepare noodles according to directions.

To serve:  I mixed noodles and half the sauce together and put in a serving bowl.  Add the meatballs, remaining sauce, and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

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