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.