Sunday, June 9, 2013

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs in Marinara

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs in Marinara
Well we're starting to have cravings...kind of random cravings: burgers, chips, snack-y foods. I blame TV commercials and watching Rules of Engagement where many a conversation happens in the diner. We're not really missing the sugar which seems weird to me but I'm totally ok with it. I decided we should make something healthy with meat instead of driving to Red Robin or In n Out! So Friday night we had spaghetti with turkey meatballs. I know, big splurge right! I made kale and spinach salad with blueberries, red onion, and cucumber, with poppy seed dressing. (Um, yeah, TASTY!) And we had steamed broccoli. Overall it was super satiating and quenched the meat craving.

Our favorite turkey meatballs come from a cook book by Giada De Laurentis similar to the recipe found here. They are cheesy and delicious. The ones in the book include 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, but I added basil because that's what I had. DEEVINE! I bake them instead of frying. It's super quick and less greasy. Use a small cookie scoop and line them up on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 min and they're prefect. I love Trader Joe's organic whole wheat spaghetti noodles. But the best part is the sauce. Super easy to make and delicious! It's adapted from Josh's adaptation of a recipe he found in an America's Test Kitchen cook book he has. (Which, incidentally, was the first thing he ever cooked for me.... awwwww!) Anyway, here you have it!

Marinara Sauce

Olive Oil
1/2 Medium Onion, diced small
4-6 Cloves Garlic, minced (You can also roast a whole head of garlic and add it all!)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
Dried Italian herbs - i.e. thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley - If you have fresh herbs feel free to use those instead or in addition
S & P

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottom pot/pan. Use just enough to lightly coat the bottom. When the oil is shimmering add the onion and cook till soft, about 8-10 min. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Add tomato paste and cook another minute or so to bring out the tomato-yness of it all. Now Add the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add dried herbs about a palmful of each at a time, crushing them as you add to the pot. (I find this to taste better than just using Italian Seasoning blend.) I usually add one palmful of each herb and then add S & P to taste. Then you can adjust for flavor. Simmer at least a half hour but for full-blown deliciousness up to an hour. If you have fresh herbs wait till the end of cooking to keep the fresh taste of the herbs. Usually I'll try to at least add fresh basil because the flavor is great! 

P.S. If you're tempted to add other veggies like carrots or celery or mushrooms, just don't. This sauce is perfect just the way it is... But if you must go ahead and cook them out with the onions so they're super tender and melt into the sauce.

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