Turkey Meatballs

{ Saturday, March 20, 2010 }

When I was little I was an omnivore. I had a grill-master, chocolate-devouring father and a vegetable worshipping, lobster loving mother, so my taste buds enjoyed broccoli as much as they did steak. In fact, beef was one of my favorite things to eat. My mom still talks about the family trip to Yellowstone when I was 12; I ate prime rib every night for a week, except for the one night when the restaurant had run out and I had to settle for spaghetti.

Not long after that (or at least that's how the timeframe goes in my admittedly shoddy memory), there was the mad cow outbreak. My mother, the nurse, declared that all beef would be banned from the house. In fact, no one in the house was be allowed to eat beef, even if it was at a restaurant. Eventually mad cow disappeared from the newspaper headlines and the months passed, but I never felt the urge to bite into a hamburger to slice into a steak. I eventually segued into the vegetarian stage of my adolescence, and although vegetarianism is a bandwagon I have since fallen off of, I never have returned to eating certain meats.

I do, however, love meatballs. I make mine with ground turkey, which is just as satisfying and as full as flavor as beef. Even better, they're quick to make and freeze easily. I was in a time crunch making this batch (I have to do all my cooking in the morning before heading off to work), so I plated them over al dente pasta with Newman's Own Marinara sauce. It made for an extremely simple and tasty meal, although next time I will definitely attempt making my own pasta sauce.

Turkey Meatballs (serves 4-6)
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
pinch salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
your choice of sauce and pasta

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned.

In a separate bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and onion and garlic mixture. Mix well. Form mixture into balls (you choose the size; I made mine slightly larger than a ping pong ball). Place meatballs in a pan heated with the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Be careful not to crowd the meatballs.

Cook meatballs over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until browned, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.

Serve meatballs with sauce and pasta.


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