Try It, You’ll Like It

May 8, 2008

I’ve mentioned many times that my sister, Kevin and I have a little weekly tradition that we like to call Family Dinner. But really, we might as well call it “Expanding Ali’s Palate” night. Because somewhere along the line, we went from making crowd pleasers like pizza to subjecting my sister to crazy ideas like salmon, coq au vin and falafel. And, can I tell you something? She loves it. Just last night, I stuck a bowl of fava bean dip (no, I didn’t take photos and yes, I’m sorry) in front of her and she fearlessly dove in and proclaimed it “better than hummus,” which is very high praise indeed.

Not only does she seem to like all these new dishes, but she even requests that we make some of them twice. After Falafel Part I, we took falafel in a new direction with a spring pea falafel recipe (again, no pictures and, again, my apologies). But after we first made these turkey meatballs—about which Ali was way more than a little squeamish, at first—she wanted no variations. She wanted an exact replica. And, knowing me all too well (and thus knowing that repeats are not really my thing), she gently reminded me that I hadn’t even blogged about them the first time around. Well played, Ali.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)

So we re-made the exact same meatballs. But, this time around, I tucked them in a crusty roll, swathed in a mixture of marinara and melty cheese. The first go-round, we went Lady and the Tramp style, with a huge platter of spaghetti, which I can also highly recommend. In sandwich form, Ali was a big fan. I’m starting to think that her eager reception to all the new-and-different is just the byproduct of Lean Cuisine fatigue. Whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Turkey-Sun Dried Tomato Meatballs
Adapted from Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for two minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook, until the pancetta is crisp and the onion is tender, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the pancetta and onion mixture with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Form the turkey mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Place on a foil-lined and greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve with your favorite marinara tucked in a sandwich, crowning a platter of spaghetti or with dainty toothpicks, as an appetizer.


19 Responses to “Try It, You’ll Like It”

  1. katie102006 Says:

    I love turkey meatbal subs once in a while and this twist on it looks great! We’ll have to try it!

  2. Mandy Says:

    it’s always fun to expand one’s palate. I am constantly doing the same to my husband too. :)Nice pics!

  3. rachel Says:

    This looks fabulous!

  4. eggsonsunday Says:

    YUM! Spaghetti and meatballs is still one of my favorite meals. Love the sun-dried tomato addition to the dark turkey…I’ll bet the subs were delicious! -Amy

  5. RecipeGirl Says:

    Pancetta in those meatballs sound pretty good. Leave it to Giada to think of that!

    Meatball sandwiches are a fave of ours (if they’re done right.)

    Stop by my blog… I have a little award waiting for you there 🙂

  6. Robin Says:

    Okay, this is going to sound strange… but last night I had a dream that you were having a baby. And you weren’t really a “you” or person but simply “The Kitchen Sink” and I was all like aww that’s so fun “The Kitchen Sink” you’re having a baby. And we hung out and ate some good salads or something. Haha. Totally weird.

    Great meatball sandwiches by the way!!!

  7. Katie B. Says:

    This looks so delicious!!

  8. Kari Says:

    Wow! Gorgeous photo, as usual. This looks so comforting, and unassuming. I love that kind of food.

  9. K8 Says:

    That looks amazing. I may need to add this into our “rotation” dishes….. Everything really is better toasted.

  10. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Katie: Thanks!

    Mandy: I have to admit, I love the challenge of it.

    Rachel: Thanks!

    Amy: The sun-dried tomatoes gave them a bright little punch, which I liked. And I tried both ground turkey breast and thigh—and thigh is definitely the way to go. Much more tender and moist.

    RecipeGirl: Thanks again for the award and your kind words! And, is there anything not made better by adding pancetta?

    Robin: That’s hilarious! Before you quit your day job and open a psychic hotline, I should let you know that I am not pregnant. Not even a little.

    Kate B.: Thanks!

    Kari: Me too. Such comfort.

    K8: Thank you!

  11. Ali Says:

    I’ve had some good lean cuisines in my day but truly nothing that can compete with this. It’s a must try, once you go turkey, you’ll never go back!

  12. Great! I’ve got lots of ground turkey to use up, so I think this one will go on the menu! Great photos!

  13. That photo is insane! What an incredible shot!

  14. Kevin Says:

    That is one tasty looking sandwich!

  15. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Ali: good to hear it!

    Rachelle: Thanks! I can’t think of a better use.

    S: Thanks so much.

    Kevin: Thanks. It was as tasty as it looks, I assure you.

  16. Stephanie Says:

    So I was inspired by Ali raving about turkey meatballs and decided that I would take a night off from my savory lean cuisine to attempt this meal.(I consider my lean cuisines to be gourmet because I add a bag of broccoli and stir it around) I must say that this could be my most FAVORITE meal.I was a bit nervous but decided I would be satisfied if we didn’t burn down the apt. The directions were so easy that even we couldn’t mess it up! We ended up substituting the parsley for spinach because thats what I thought the green was in the picture and got stuck on it, and it was really good! Thank you for posting this I will DEFINITELY be making it again.

  17. Ana Says:

    So, what Stephanie is really saying is, if you would like to borrow our super secret Turkey Meatball recipe with different cheese and “green” then yes, we’ll agree to trade. Notice I did say trade. While the meatballs we made were absolutely amazing, I’m sure I can find a few things on here worthy of a trade… Thanks Kristin, you really did it again with this one… Delish!

  18. Kristin at The Kitchen Sink Says:

    Stephanie & Ana: Yay!!! I’m so glad you guys tried these! I bet Ali was so jealous that she missed out on the fun. We have to do “family dinner” over at your apartment again soon. Thanks for commenting!

  19. lauren Says:

    I just made this and it was SO GOOD! Substituted the romano for parmesan, and I didn’t have any sun-dried tomatoes so I just chopped a regular ol roma tomato and put it in the skillet for a little bit..and it was still good!

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