HOMEMADE MEATBALLS & CREAMY PASTA SAUCE
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 cups uncooked pasta (I recommend fusilli or something swirly that can hold onto sauce well)
- food processor or immersion blender
For the sauce:
- either 6 whole fresh tomatoes (on the vine or roma tomatoes) or 1 (28oz) can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 (8oz) can plain tomato sauce
- 1/2 chopped white onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (if you want a kick)
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 1/4 cup cheese (either asiago, fontina, or parmesean)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped italian parsley
- olive oil
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb turkey (not lean! I like 80/20)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
HOW YOU'LL MAKE IT:
1. If you are using whole fresh tomatoes, cut an "x" in the bottom of the tomato & boil for 1-2 minutes, then immediately place in ice water for 3 or so minutes, until the skin is loose enough for you to peel off. If you are using canned whole tomatoes, skip this step!
2. In a large saucepan with high sides, saute the chopped white onion & minced garlic in 3 tbsp of olive oil until translucent on medium heat.
3. Add your peeled (or canned) tomatoes to the skillet with the canned tomato sauce & mush tomatoes with the back of your spoon. Add salt, pepper, basil, parsley, italian seasoning, & crushed red pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes with the lid on the pan.
4. In a separate pan, make your meatballs. 1 lb of turkey should make around 10 - 12 meatballs. Sear the meatballs in a little bit of cooking oil until golden brown on all edges. The meatballs do not need to be cooked throughout, as they will finish cooking in the sauce.
5. Carefully transfer your pasta sauce to a food processor & blend on high until smooth. Or, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce together in the pan. You don't want any large chunks! Transfer sauce back into your sauce pan once blended. Add half & half and 1/4 cup cheese, stir, and cover.
6. Add meatballs to the pan with the sauce & cover. Let the sauce & meatballs simmer on medium heat for 15-17 minutes until meatballs are cooked throughout. Stir every couple minutes or so, so that your sauce doesn't burn.
7. Boil your pasta (cook 1-2 minutes less than what the box says). If you bite into it, it should have a small amount of white inside. Your pasta will finish cooking in your sauce. When your timer is up, spoon your pasta into the meatball & sauce pan (DO NOT DRAIN). Ladle a couple tablespoons of your starchy pasta water into your pasta/meatball/sauce pan, stir, and let that simmer for another 2 minutes.
8. Top with cheese and fresh basil & you are DONE!