The Biggest Meatball

One of my favorite dishes to make, partly because the kids will eat it without a fuss, is pasta with meatballs. I like to experiment with the ingredients but for the most part my recipe has been the same for years. For starters I use ground turkey. Not ground turkey breast because that doesn't have a high enough fat content and you end up with very dry meatballs. I like a lot of onions in my meatballs which is a problem since the kids won't eat them if they know there are onions in there. The trick is a very very fine chop on the onions. That way when they cook, the onions cook down and soften and are virtually undetectable.

I make my own pasta sauce as well. If everyone realized how quick and easy it was to make your own sauce minus the salt and sugar content of the jarred sauce, I'm convinced the sauce companies would have gone out of business a long time ago. (Sorry guys) To make a good sauce takes literally minutes to do and it tastes great. My secret is Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil. Short of cooking down your own tomatoes, this is the best way, in my opinion, to start a tomato sauce.

For my sauce, I sauté 1 large onion in about 2 -3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the onions have cooked down a bit, I add 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 can of Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes with basil, 1 can of diced tomatoes, about 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, that's it. Then I just let it simmer until everything else is done.

I had to tell about the sauce because that is one of my ingredients in the meatballs. For the meatballs I start with 1 pound of ground turkey, 1 medium onion chopped very, very fine, 1 egg, about a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese. From there you just mix it up, form it into meatballs and to save time from frying the meatballs I put them into a preheated 400° oven for about 20 – 25 minutes, turning once. Then just toss them into the sauce until the pasta is done.

And now for a brief anecdote about my not-so-world-famous meatballs. A while back several members of the extended family were over for some since forgotten occasion. There were about 15 or 16 people that had to be fed dinner so I figured this was a good time for pasta and meatballs. As I brought the bowl to the table and began serving the meatballs and pasta, my young niece exclaimed, "THOSE ARE THE BIGGEST MEATBALLS I HAVE EVER SEEN!!".

After the laughter subsided I told her she was being silly and these meatballs were actually not that big. To my surprise nearly everyone at the table, including my very own family, the very people that eat these meatballs on a regular basis, confirmed what my niece had just stated. From that day on I have taken great pride in being the one that makes the biggest meatball.


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