19 January 2013

italian night.

on the menu. turkey meatballs with spaghetti & baby arugula with creamy balsamic pesto dressing. 

Wheat...gasp. Dairy...gasp. So, as you can tell, we are done detoxing & moved on to just eating a little more consciously--Superfoods & whole foods mostly. I have be craving spaghetti & meatballs for a few weeks, though, I can't remember the last time I slurped up a bowl of delicious pasta & red sauce, so I thought I would make a night of it. I used turkey here, because I don't eat red meat, & I enjoy the lighter taste of the turkey. This is relatively simple, so don't be alarmed by the number of steps. It is perfect for a weekend night or Sunday dinner.

The baby arugula salad is a perfect companion--it is so easy, light, peppery & a little sweet from the vinegar. We also had a Sicilian Pinot Grigio. 

turkey meatballs with a basic tomato sauce & spaghetti.
serves 4

for the meatballs:

  • 1 lb. organic ground dark turkey meat
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino, grated
  • 1/4 cup almond flour/ bread crumbs/ or oats blitzed until fine (I have tested these over the years, they all work well, it just depends on what you have on hand or your dietary preference)
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • 1 TBL plain Greek yogurt (or whole milk)
  • 1 heaping TBL fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • a good pinch of cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves & get in there with your hands. Once combine (trying to not over work the turkey meat), wet your hands, & roll into balls. I made golf-ball sized meatballs, but if you want bigger ones go for it, they will just have to brown longer. 
  2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs (if you need to work in batches, you may just need to add a little more oil as you switch batches), add meatballs and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown, about 8 minutes total. 
  3. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow meatballs to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm on stove. Be careful not to over-handle the meatballs since they are soft and fragile.

for the basic tomato sauce:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of basil, leaves picked, chopped & 2 TBL of the stems finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt & cracked pepper
  • 3/4 -1 lb. spaghetti or gluten-free spaghetti (I like Bionaturae which is organic, made in Italy & relatively easy to find )
  • Pecorino, for serving
  1. In a heavy-bottomed or enamel pot, add oil & warm to medium heat. Add the garlic & basil stems. Cook for about 3 minutes, careful not to let the garlic burn. Once the garlic starts to smell amazing & before it turns golden, add the tomatoes, wine, sea salt & cracked pepper. Bring to a boil, & then reduce heat to low & let simmer for 1 hour or an hour & a half (depending on how you want the texture of the sauce), breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon when you stir. 
  2. When you add the meatballs, add half of the basil, taste & season to your taste.
  3. To assemble: Cook your pasta according to the package directions, al dente. Plate up in serving bowls, place meatballs & a healthy spoonful of sauce on top. Add a pinch of chopped basil & grate some Pecorino on top. Enjoy.

baby arugula salad with a creamy balsamic pesto dressing.
serves 4
  • 4 big handfuls of baby arugula 
  • 3 TBL olive oil
  • 2 TBL canola oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 TBL balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBL plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp pesto
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • cracked pepper for serving
  1. Plate up arugula in a serving platter or bowl. 
  2. In a mason jar, add oils, vinegar, yogurt, pesto & salt. Shake vigorously. Add about half to the arugula & toss with your hands covering the leaves. 
  3. To serve, put the other half of the dressing out for people with some cracked pepper.

on the reel. 'To Rome with Love' a film by Woody Allen. 

This is Woody Allen's latest film, that just came out on DVD. I knew when this finally arrived in the little red envelop, I had to make it a dinner & a movie night. It is a light & funny tale of the city, people & circumstances that merge together with a bit of whimsy.  This image is from a funny scene in which Jesse Eisenberg & Ellen Page are trying to cook Italian food, but keep putting way too much wine in, & get drunk from taste testing. Love it. 

the kitchen critters. Maude & Jack.

happy eatings & cheers!

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