Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tickled pink...

I loved Nick and Toni's Penne alla Vecchia Bettola so much that I had to make it again. This time, I decided to add small turkey meatballs to the sauce and also threw in some peas for color. When I set out to make the sauce, I realized I didn't have everything I needed so I adapted the recipe using what I already had at home.

Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti in Pink Sauce
Adapted from Nick and Toni's Penne alla Vecchia Bettola recipe shown on The Barefoot Contessa

Turkey Meatballs
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1  1/4 lbs ground turkey, 7 % fat
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add the panko bread crumbs and milk. Stir together with a fork until milk is absorbed by the bread crumbs. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix with your hands until well combined, don't over mix though or it will turn gummy.
Using a small scoop or a tablespoon, make little meatballs and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.

Bake for 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven and set aside.

Pink Sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 34 oz can good Italian whole tomatoes, crush the tomatoes with your hands into smaller pieces
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted and brought to room temperature
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and wine, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. When the sauce starts to boil, cover tightly and put pot into the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

    Remove pot from the oven and place back on stove top. Add the cream, salt, pepper, sugar and meatballs. Heat everything back up over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, turn down heat to a low simmer. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for another minute. Taste the sauce to see if it needs any more salt and/or pepper.

    Serve over 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of thick spaghetti cooked al dente with a side of grated parmesan cheese.

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