Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ellie Krieger's Spaghetti Penne with Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce


The Craving Ellie in my Belly selection this week is Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato sauce, chosen by Oddball Oven Mitt. Meatballs are one of those things that I really enjoy eating, but not making. It is the manhandling of raw meat thing. I prefer to get my meat from raw to cooked with minimal manipulation on my part. Yet despite my disdain for the process, it seems like I've made a ton of meatballs within the last couple of months -- there were Ina's Real Spaghetti & Meatballs for a Barefoot Bloggers challenge that I made and then slacktastically failed to blog about; the chicken meatballs for Ina's Italian Wedding Soup; Mark Bittman's meatballs; and I swear I can remember bitching about meatball-making at least one other time in my blog recently, but I'll be darned if I could remember which post it was. So when I saw that this recipe was picked, I had my usual conflicted meatball reaction, but I forged ahead.

This time the meatballs are of the turkey variety, which I had not made in a while. Make them by mixing together lean ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, and egg, salt, pepper and shredded carrots. (Incidentally, I used that carrot shredding momentum to my advantage and continued shredding enough carrots to make Ellie's carrot cake cupcakes. Hubs loved them; I loved them once stopped thinking "cupcakes" and started thinking "muffins.") Anyway, once everything is mixed up, roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath, reach in and roll those meatballs, baby. Eyes on the prize.


The sauce here sounded interesting to me because it includes some chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, which I had previously only used in southwestern-style dishes. But I guess if you want to get something spicy, chipotle chiles are one of the quickest ways to do it. In addition to the chiles, the sauce calls for onions, garlic, tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper and basil. This might be the first time I've used fire roasted tomatoes. Pamela sung their praises just last week, so I was really eager to see what all the excitement was about. And wow, I don't know if it was the fire roasted tomatoes or the chipotles or what, but this sauce was kickin! Definitely spicy, and just exploding with flavor. Ellie, I take back all the times I ever said that your dishes can be a little bland sometimes. There is NOTHING bland about this sauce. We loved it, and it will become my go-to spicy tomato sauce (doesn't everyone have a go-to spicy tomato sauce?) My only complaint is that the sauce-to-meatball ratio seemed a little low. I'll probably double the sauce recipe next time I make this. But in terms of flavor, I wouldn't change a thing. It is fabulous!

Also, I made Ellie's garden risotto over the weekend. See?


This risotto is next week's pick from one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica of Singleton in the Kitchen. I am about to be out of pocket and will be unable to do a full post about this next week, but I didn't want to miss Jessica's pick, especially since she picked risotto, which is much loved by my hubs and me. And this one did not disappoint. You all are going to loooooove this! Thanks Jessica!

Oddball Oven Mitt, thanks for the fantastic pick this week -- we loved it!

34 comments:

Audrey said...

Oh yes, I wrinkle my nose and look away when I have to dig into the raw meatball mixture. It's lucky that the end result is worth it! And it's much better, easier, cleaner and more doable to bake them, isn't it.

Gosh, I don't have a go-to spicy tomato sauce. I guess I'm bland... Oh, dear. It does seems a little WILD to me (giggle).

applecrumbles said...

We enjoyed the spicy sauce as well. Ted wasn't keen on the meatballs, but I like my version. Good job!

Jessica said...

I actually made the risotto last night so I laughed when I saw that you'd made it already, too. I'm glad that you guys liked it!
Now, I haven't made the meatballs yet but I'm going to make them tonight. I hate handling raw meat -- blech -- and I thought about skipping this week but then I saw the chipotles in the sauce and I wanted to try it. I'm glad that it's going to live up to my expectations!

Aggie said...

Mmmm...looking good! I am clearing out a fridge of leftovers so I couldn't participate this week. This looks great! I was curious about the chipotle in the sauce. It sounded yummy...different but yummy!

nick said...

'I loved them once stopped thinking "cupcakes" and started thinking "muffins."'

HAHAHA!!! As previously described in a blog post, this is for all intents and purposes identical to how Sara and I justify eating our morning "muffins" everyday!

What is it with you women and raw meat? It isn't going to bite, you know... and I'm sure you have all sorts of soaps/cleaners/astringents/towels &c. to prevent and/or contain any nasties. I've seen Sara eat raw shell fish, fish, and beef, undercooked pork, lamb, and eggs, but the look on her face every time she touches a raw chicken back/neck/breast is one of utter disgust...

I am hearing good things all around about this sauce. We have never made is (Sara always just serves her homemade marinara).

Teanna said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Turkey meatballs, I make them all of the time! I've never heard of putting shredded carrots into them, but hey, if the leftovers make cupcakes (muffins?) I'm all about it!

Sara said...

Looks great! Love all that cheese atop the yummy meatballs and pasta. Thanks for a preview of the risotto, I am excited to make it.

Di said...

The top picture looks delicious. Unfortunately, no one but Jamie eats spicy stuff around here. The risotto looks like it's more my type of thing. =)

Pam said...

The meatballs look tasty - I am with you though, extra sauce is a must.

Mary Ann said...

I don't like touching raw meat either, but for some reason it doesn't bother me as much when I am making meatballs. I am just a wierdo!
I made the risotto this past week too.
I want to see pictures of the cupcakes!!
It all looks yummy.
I love your blog, Cathy!

Geoff said...

Funny about the raw meat. My ex g/f has an unhealthy fear of handling raw meat! She used to run through the meat aisle at the grocery store... Great looking dish(es) and I can't wait for the risotto next week!!

Natashya said...

Sounds tasty! I am glad Ellie came through in the flavour department.
I have yet to find fire roasted tomatoes, but I am always on the lookout - they sound like a great pantry staple.

pinkstripes said...

Both look delicious. And penne is so much easier to eat than spaghetti. The Risotto looks wonderful. And I have never made actual risotto (with rice). I've made tons of risotto-style dishes, but never the actual thing.

bakingwiththeboys said...

One of the benefits of being a vegetarian...no handling raw meat.

Love the cupcake/muffin distinction. It is amazing how our perceptions make all the difference. During the "no fat!" 90s one of my best friends used to eat non-fat sour cream which she claimed was great...as long as you did't think of it as sour cream.

thenotsoskinnykitchen said...

I'm not a fan of handling raw meat either; my boyfriend makes fun of me because I wear latex gloves when I make meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers. I just can't handle the squishy ground meat on my hands. Blech.

Leslie said...

I am so with you on the ick of making meatballs. I was a veg for 20 years, and only started eating chicken and turkey about 3 years ago. I delayed making this dish as long as I could because the hands-in-raw-turkey freakout. Yours turned out beautifully, and seeing your risotto makes me eager to bang this one out before my vacation starts. We'll miss you next week!

Bridgett said...

I love the sound of the spicy sauce. I will have to give this one a try and see what the hubby thinks. Nothing better than a delicious and comforting pasta meal. Looks perfect!

What's for Supper? said...

Glad that you liked it. We liked the meatballs. Not so much the sauce. And you are right on about the sauce to meatball ratio. Something was off there.

Debinhawaii said...

Fire roasted tomatoes are excellent. I am going to have to try the sauce. I have been craving meatballs lately so maybe those too. And that risotto is calling my name. I should not look at your blog before lunch!

Heather said...

those turkey meatballs sound delicious! and i adore jessica, too. her blog always makes me smile :)

Tracey said...

Healthy and delicious? Sign me up. I love meatballs! I wonder if I could trick my husband though - if he finds out there are carrots in the meatballs he won't touch them with a 10 ft pole.

n.o.e said...

Meatballs are my favorite thing, but I hate making them too. Handling raw meat doesn't faze me in the least, but I don't like browning them on all sides. Sooo time consuming and labor intensive.

What a fantastic plate of pasta! Great photos too, btw. We love spicy anything, so this would hit the spot. And strange as it seems, I don't have a go-to spicy tomato sauce, although I have 3 or 4 specialty go-to tomato sauce recipes. Your mention of Bittman meatballs has me off to scurry and find my HTCE.

I've been looking for a good carrot muffin recipe, actually (I've always thought there was a fine line between muffins and cupcakes, but it sounds like this recipe falls squarely in muffin territory.) so I may have to check out Ellie's.

Finally, (yes, there is an end coming) you totally have that risotto technique down solid. Mine always turns out gummy.
Nancy

Justin Schwartz said...

mmm, more elllie recipes I need to try!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I have two girls that love making meatballs...go figure. We lease them out really cheap! I think the spicy sauce sounds fantastic.

Megan said...

I solved the meatball making problem by making David do it. :)

Seriously, it does look like an interesting sauce, but I'm not so sure about the chipotle. It seems like it would belongs more in Mexican food.

Peggy said...

I have to use plastic gloves when I touch the raw meat stuff. Get you a box of those and it will make life a lot easier! You will definitely be on my mind next week Cathy. :)

The Blonde Duck said...

I love meatballs! Yum!

There's an award for you on my blog!

Pamela said...

I agree that there defintiely could have been more sauce. I woulnd't have minded the leftovers! I think the fire roasted tomatoes helps out with the flavor becuase even without the chipotle, the sauce was great. I'm gearing up to make the risotto this weekend. It looks fabulous!

AmyRuth said...

Ummm Yummy Cathy, I'm hungry do you have any of that special food left? he he It really sounds like the kind of sauce my family would love as well. Seems like southwestern cuisine seems to be the flavors of choice in my house. Have you ever tried hot smokey paprika before? A great ingredient for rubs on grilled or roasted meats and vegies for that matter. You're likely to run into it at some point soon if not already.
AmyRuth

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I salute you for overcoming your aversion to handling raw meat AND for doing yet one more meatball dish. This one looks very appetizing. The spicy sauce combined with turkey meatballs -- healthy even!! Great job.

Marthe said...

Yum, that risotto looks good. I wasn't able to make the turkey meatballs with sauce.... Looks like I missed out!

Elyse said...

I love eating meatballs, too--just not the making!! We're so alike! Sticking your hands in raw meat conjures all types of nasty images for me--and health concerns. I'm an anal handwasher in the kitchen. BUT, the end results look totally worth the meat manipulation. DEELISH. And I'm so glad that the sauce turned out so fabulously.

Emily said...

Can't wait to read all about the risotto! We love it and that sounds especially yummy! -e

a4 printers said...

I'm so curios about how to make risotto really good..

 
Blog Design By: Sherbet Blossom Designs