Meatballs are one meal I really enjoy, maybe it’s because of the tender meat and all its juices, or the fact that you don’t have to chew until daybreak to eat them. I really do love making meatballs as much as eating them. There’s something therapeutic about rolling and searing meatballs, possibly the sight and sound of it all, or just the feeling of creating something delicious. I tend to lean towards dark meat turkey, instead of light because the taste is just better. The slight fattiness means better flavor, but in these times – let’s just use what we can get at this point.
Pesto can be made from any greens or herbs, but Arugula makes an intense peppery pesto that is hard to resist. I happen to grow arugula in my yard and it sure has come in handy lately. This deep leafy green is a hardy growing lettuce of sorts, and it can tolerate the dewy wetness of winter here at the coast, but when spring arrives, it comes to life like no other – sort of like me I suppose.
Turkey Meatballs sauced with creamy pesto is just tasty and yes, there is a touch of cream, that’s what makes them so good. Pesto lighten in color with just a splash of cream, turns vegetal into wonderful. You can reheat these meatballs for another meal, but I have another recipe coming tomorrow that adults and kids will find just as yummy.
4 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup blanched almonds or pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 clove garlic
2/3 cup olive oil
pinch of salt & pepper
1/ 3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 pound ground dark meat turkey
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
olive oil for cooking
(Makes about 16 Meatballs)
- In a food processor, add arugula, almonds, Parmesan and garlic. Pulse until coarse texture. While processor is running, add olive oil, salt and pepper. Pesto should have a mealy look to it, and not be too runny, set aside.
- In a large bowl, add all Meatball ingredients and mix with hands until incorporated. Let rest for 10 minutes in bowl.
- In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Roll meat into ping-pong size balls and place into pan. Brown all sides of meatballs, about 10 minutes.
- Dollop 2/3 of pesto into pan around meatballs. Add chicken broth and stir. Cook for 1 minute, then add cream. Stir while cooking, until slightly thickened and light in color, about 3 minutes. Swirl meatballs around pan in sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with pasta, spaghetti squash or sauteed spinach. Enjoy!