Spicy Turkey Meatballs & Spaghetti
From Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?
Prep time: 20 minutes
Roasting time (meatballs): 35-40 minutes
Final cooking time: 20 minutes (boiling pasta and warming sauce)
3 cups bread crumbs from round rustic bread, crusts removed, cut into 1” pieces
2/3 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
2 lb/900g ground turkey (I used ground chicken)
8oz/226g Italian sausage, casings removed (I used my favorite sweet fennel Italian)
4oz/114g thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup Asiago cheese, grated (Ina grates it using a chunk of cheese in a food processor with the regular steel blade in the bowl)
½ cup fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
3 tbsp good olive oil, plus some for brushing the meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 jars (24oz/650ml) good marinara sauce (I like Classico, Ina likes Rao’s)
2lb/900g dried spaghetti (this time I used farfalle - little boys favorite)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese for serving.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (foil is better for easy clean up).
2. Place bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Toss and set aside for 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, the turkey (or chicken), sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes and lightly combine with your hands. Add 3 tbsp olive oil and eggs, stir lightly with a fork to combine.
4. Lightly roll the mixture with your hands into 2” round meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Brush with olive oil and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tops are browned and the centers completely cooked.
Ruth’s note: you will not believe how awesome your kitchen will smell.
5. Pour the marinara sauce into a large low pot (I used my Dutch oven), add the meatballs and bring to a simmer.
6. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes depending on the type of pasta). Drain and either serve as Ina does – in individual bowls topped by 3 meatballs and sauce. Or…
place the pasta in a large serving bowl, top with lots of meatballs and sauce for a more casual presentation and serve at the table. Have a bowl of grated Parmesan at the table for sprinkling on top or a block of cheese and grate over each serving..
Serve with a simple green salad.