Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roasted Garlic Meatballs with Spinach Sauce

   I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Wonderful may not accurately describe mine... interesting may be more apt.  Saturday Louis and I went to Bear Island, one of my favorite places.  Sunday one of my best friends in the world came to visit me!  She brought her would-be boy toy, who lives in Charlotte, except he decided to be a prude and not put out.  (Oh yeah, calling him out on that....)  Monday was filled with bathing suit malfunctions, losing accessories to the sea, and rather epic sunburns.  Due to the last, yesterday was spent indoors lazing around, dicking with computers and talking a little shit.

   So, who doesn't love spaghetti and meatballs?  I do, but the traditional red sauce and beef can be a little heavy.  Not exactly the type of thing that you want to eat on a hot summer day.  Also, it is such a basic concept that it is easy and fun to play around with.  Hmm, you know.  Looking at this recipe right now, it is way healthier than I originally thought.  Guilt-free spaghetti and meatballs with some cheese?  Yes please!  (And go ahead and use these recipes in different applications.  I'm giving you two complete recipes today because of my brief absence.)
Roasted Garlic and Fontina Turkey Meatballs
1/2 lb ground white turkey (93/7 preferable; 97/3 if the other is not available)
1 egg white
1/4-1/3 C shredded fontina
4-5 large cloves of roasted garlic, mashed
2 Tbsp bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp ground sage
salt and pepper

   Combine all ingredients except turkey (don't add too much salt and pepper at this point.)  Then use your hands to mix in turkey so it is not overworked.
   Cook a little tester.  Adjust seasoning as needed.
   Form into 12 roughly golfball sized meatballs.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
   Bake at 400 deg F for 12 minutes.  (About 10 minutes if using 97/3 turkey.)

Fresh Spinach and Tomato Sauce
1 lrg onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 of a large bunch of spinach, roughly chopped (wash it well and remove stems!)
1/2-3/4 C broth (veg or chicken)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp light cream cheese
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

   Heat a little oil over medium.  Saute onions until translucent, ~5 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flake, cook 1 min.  Add tomatoes, spinach, broth, and vinegar.  (Amount of broth will depend on how much liquid the tomatoes have.)  Turn heat to med-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until spinach is wilted and tender.  (Add a little more broth or water if the sauce gets too dry, it shouldn't be soupy, but shouldn't be without liquid.)
   Melt cream cheese in a few minutes before serving.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
   Toss with whole wheat pasta.  Top with meatballs and freshly shaved parmesan.
   Serves 4.

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