3 weeks ago
Thursday, April 30, 2009
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!