Oh, Mario Batali. Having just cooked from one of your cookbooks for the first time, I can understand why you weigh what you weigh. Your recipes are outstanding.
And seriously, 2 lbs of meat to serve 4 people? Holy moly man, that serves way more in our household.
I don't know what possessed me to pick up Batali's cookbook Molto Italiano from the library a couple of days ago. Italian food just doesn't excite me. I would choose just about any other kind of restaurant before I would choose an Italian one. But, I'm beginning to think there are two reasons for that:
1) I haven't had a lot of great Italian food. President's Choice Lasagnes clearly don't give an accurate representation of the possibility for deliciousness.
2) Pasta makes me go "meh".
But, one of my friends was raving about his Batali iPad app, and so I picked up the book to see what the fuss was all about.
The best meatballs ever. That's what this cookbook is about. It's going on my Christmas list for this recipe alone.
I won't lie, I made a ton of adjustments to his recipe (2 tablespoons of salt?!? No one needs that much salt in a dish), mostly to the sauce. Given Gwyneth Paltrow's friendship with Batali, I figured he wouldn't mind if I replaced his tomato sauce recipe with hers (it was much simpler and I was out of carrots). Use your own recipe, use Paltrow's (found here) or use some store bought stuff. Just make sure it's low sodium, because these meatballs pack a punch.
And don't be turned off by the long ingredient list. Everything comes together relatively quickly!
Polpettine di Tacchino
(aka Turkey Meatballs)
from Mario Batali's Molto Italiano
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 lb lean ground pork
1½ cups panko
½ cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, cut in half vertically and thinly sliced horizontally to form half moons
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp hot pepper flakes
½ cup water
½ cup red wine or dry sherry
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp parsley
1. Preheat oven to 475º.In a large bowl, mix together all meatball ingredients. Use a light hand to do so. Form into 24-30 golf ball sized balls. Place on a large, sturdy, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350º.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large dutch oven. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes, then water, wine and rosemary. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, and let liquid reduce to approximately half. Stir in tomato sauce and let mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add meatballs to sauce, tossing well to coat and bake in oven for 45-55 minutes, or until sauce is thick (and really, almost gone).
Serve in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of parsley.