I Missed My Kitchen the Most

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ABOVE: Our little hike into Arches National Park

I’m still a little hung over from the whole road trip.

I’ve had a lot of gardening (and I have lots more) to do when I returned home.  The grounds are overgrown and in need of some major TLC (and some rough lovin’ too!)

The trip was definitely an adventure for our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve managed to sneak in a few new recipes from my birthday cookbooks.

Turkey Meatballs in Marinara

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1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup grated Romano
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups marinara (I’m not posting hers–make your favorite)
1 pound dried pasta
In a large bowl add bread crumbs milk and mix until well combined. Mix in eggs and 1/2 cup Romano cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf-size balls.

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow meatballs to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm on stove. Be careful not to overhandle the meatballs since they are soft and fragile.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water since you want to retain the pasta natural starches so that the sauce will cling to the penne.

Remove meatballs from sauce and place in serving bowl. Pour some tomato sauce over meatballs, but leave about 1 cup of sauce in skillet. Place the cooked penne into the skillet with the remaining sauce and toss well. Pour sauced pasta into a large serving bowl. Serve alongside the meatballs.
My Notes:
This recipe was pretty darn good–for turkey meatballs.  For people who are on lowfat diets or don’t eat beef or pork, this is probably a winner.  I prefer pork and beef.
I added some crushed red pepper to her marinara, and I thought there were too many veggies in her marinara.  I like my own marinara better, but I still think her’s is quite yummy.  I would not make the meatballs with romano cheese alone.  I would use half parmesan and half ramano.  I didn’t cook the meatballs in the frying pan very long.  I threw them on the sauce and let them cook all of the way through on a low simmer.  I prefer meatballs cooked in sauce.
Above: pre-cooked turkey meatballs.

I also made her White Bean Dip with Pita Chips.
These are wonderful!  Perfect appetizer for guests.  Super easy to make.

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