A good day to you, my lovelies!
Welcome back! For those of you joining me for your first time, thank you for stopping by! I promise I’ll be gentle. Especially because today we’ll be handling meat and balls. 😉 We’re making Spinach and Turkey Meatballs! (What did you think I meant?…tsk tsk)
Today we are experimenting with ways to jazz up our meat in the kitchen. Instead of the traditional meatball with ground beef, we are using ground turkey and adding some sautéed spinach for some extra umph. (Also a great way to get that extra helping of veggies in. If you’re into that.)
Below is a shot of the ingredients you need for this recipe. I’ve also listed them out. I’m a visual person so I do better with the image and then the instruction:
1 Box of Farfalle (aka bowtie pasta)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2.5 lb Ground Turkey (usually 2 packages)
3/4 Cups Italian Style Breadcrumbs
Fresh Basil to taste
1/4 Chopped Onion
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Box of Spinach (You can determine how much spinach you want)
Between preparation and cooking this meal should take about an hour and should feed about 4-6 people. Dinner party!
First let us start with sautéing our spinach. For this you will need the chopped onion, minced garlic, oil and spinach.
We are going to start with our heat at medium. Using a medium-to-large saucepan we will add a splash of oil along with the spinach, onion and garlic. *Note: If you are not a fan of garlic, you do not need to add it. I happen to LOVE garlic (bless my family and friends for their tolerance in putting up with me and my garlic-y habits) so I add it to almost everything. I like to think I’m being heart conscious, since garlic is good for that vital organ.
Look at that hot, oily, deliciousness! I feel like I’ll be as strong as Popeye after this meal. (If you don’t know who Popeye is, watch this clip from YouTube: https://youtu.be/grtchH6SfGE . Fast-forward until the :41 sec mark.) Talk about a throw back.
Alright, now that we’ve had our Popeye fix, back on topic! After we sauté our spinach, we are going to add it to our 2 packages of meat.
I decided to go with a large metal bowl, as it’s easier to use our hands when we mix our meat concoction.
Next we are going to add the thyme, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper, breadcrumbs and four eggs. Should look something like this:
Now before we dig in, I like to make sure that I already have two baking dishes (cookie pans work just fine) covered in aluminum foil so that once I start mixing I don’t have to stop to wash my hands and get that prepped, just to come back and get all dirty again. Once I’m in, I’m committed!
Now that we have discussed good prepping habits, get in there! Use your hands to mix your meat. Be gentle, but firm. You want to make sure that everything is evenly mixed through this concoction. Once you feel that it is evenly mixed, start making your meatballs. I did smaller ones, about golf ball size, so that they would cook faster and more evenly. I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours:
*Side Note: Copycat callout will be happening this week, so if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, please do. I can be found at @starknakedcooking . I want to see how your cooking adventures turn out from the recipes I’ve featured on my blog 🙂
Alright, now that we’ve done some shameless self-promotion, let’s put our meatballs into the oven. Again, we will be using the magical 350 degrees to bake these badboys.
Ultimately we want them to bake for 40 minutes. I’m going to set my timer for 20 minutes, because when that goes off, I know I need to start cooking my pasta. Since it takes a little bit of time to cook an entire box of pasta (roughly 20 minutes or so between boiling the water and cooking the pasta) I want to gauge my time so that both the pasta and the meatballs finish at the same time.
…Jeopardy Music: https://youtu.be/vWuQVpBeqLs …
Or, if you need a good laugh, this always puts me in a good mood: https://youtu.be/IplmOFKEdDM . Sigh… Gets me every time!
Alrighty then! 20 minutes have gone by and our timer pages us. At this point, I reset my timer for another 20 minutes, and fill a large pot a little more than half way with water and set it to boil. Items needed for this step are below:
I add a dash of oil and same freshly ground salt to the pot of water. Once it starts boiling (takes about 5-10minutes depending on how large the pot is) I add the entire box of pasta and let it cook for about another 10 minutes or so.
The pasta should be done cooking by the time the timer goes off to announce the completion of your meatballs. At this point I turn off the timer, the oven, the stove and put my pans of meatballs on my stove .
Golden brown perfection!
But back to the pasta! I then use a colander to drain my pasta. Once drained, I put the pasta back in the pot, add some more oil, freshly ground salt, basil and mix. (I haven’t provided measurements here because each person will find an oil-to-salt-to-basil ratio that they prefer. Start small then add more if you want more flavor. It’s always easier to add ingredients later, rather than detract.)
Now it’s time to add the two together! I put about a cup or so of pasta with two or three meatballs in a pasta bowl and lightly cover with parmesan cheese. Since I like to spice things up, I added some Frank’s Red Hot as well.
Below are two photos, one with Frank’s, the other without:
Voila! You’ve just created another healthy and flavorful meal with Stark Naked Cooking! Congratulations! Now go eat! You’ve earned it.
I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to seeing you again!
*Side Note: A lovely thank you to my guest photographer, and one of my best friends, Elyse. Hope you enjoyed the free meal as payment for your photography services.