Friday, August 19, 2016

Rigatoni with Mini Turkey Meatballs

I am welcoming Friday with open arms. And what better way than with arms full of cheesy pasta goodness? And I can't decide what's cuter; the mini meatballs, mini mozzarella, or the mini rigatoni? But there's nothing "mini" about the flavors of this dish. Creamy tomato sauce, al dente pasta, flavorful meatballs, and fresh crisp basil. That's just what the weekend ordered.

Rigatoni with Mini Turkey Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced onion
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I used my homemade)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mini mozzarella balls
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Preheat broiler to high. Place a sheet of tin foil on a large baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. 

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and milk and allow if the bread crumbs to soak up some of the milk mixture; about 3 minutes. Then add in the turkey, egg, onion, parsley, yogurt, parmesan, salt & pepper. Mix well.

Using a small cookie scoop, form as many small meatballs as you can, placing them about 1/2-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Broil for 3-4 minutes, careful not to burn, until just cooked (they will finish cooking in the sauce).

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and save 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water. 

In a large pot, or deep-sided skillet, heat the tomato sauce over medium heat. Once simmering, add in the cream and the meatballs. Add in the reserved pasta water and continue to simmer until thickened slightly. Allow to cook for 3 minutes before adding in the mozzarella balls. Stir once again. Garish with basil leaves and serve hot.

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