Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Polpettine di Tacchino

I started with a recipe that I found in People Magazine for Turkey Meatballs by Mario Batali and adapted it to my family's taste.  Mario made these meatballs on "The Chew" as an appetizer.  He also makes them at his restaurant Otto.  I definitely changed the recipe.  I reduced the amount of red pepper flakes down from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon in both the meatballs and the sauce.  I don't like to breathe fire when I eat meatballs.  In fact, I reduced the salt and pepper way down, too.  I reduced the cooking time down from 1 hour to 40 minutes.  I have seen this recipe online with a cooking time of 2-1/2 hours!  You would have to bring the oven temperature down to about 300 degrees in order to cook it for that long.  I feel like this recipe would be burned beyond recognition if we used the 2-1/2 hour 350 degree cook time!  I know that Mario believes in slow roasting meats so I will try the longer method some time but not in a 350 degree oven.

I didn't have red wine in the house (unbelievable but true) so I used 1/4 cup vodka and 3/4 cup chicken broth.  The sauce was great anyway.  

I served these meatballs with oven-baked Risotto.  Yum!

Polpettine di Tacchino
A delicious and flavorful meatball recipe

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
Total time: 1 hour

(Serves: 6)

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
2.5 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (Mario uses 1 Tbsp)
1-2 tablespoons salt
1-2 tablespoons ground black pepper

For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cup dry red wine
1 sprig rosemary
1 (16-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes and their juices, crushed by hand
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
dash salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, pork, bread crumbs, milk, garlic, eggs, rosemary, chili flakes and salt and pepper and mix with hands until just combined. Form into 5-ounce balls and place in a shallow casserole. Roast in the oven until dark golden brown. Set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a large oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until well browned. Add the chili flakes and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the rosemary and red wine and stir until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the meatballs, transferring to a large container if necessary, and cook in the oven 30-40 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls with the sauce, topped with the parsley leaves.


The Creative Cook