Sunday, June 17, 2012
Make Ahead Meal: Mozzarella Turkey Meatballs
1 lb Italian Sausage, hot or mild depending on your taste (bulk or removed from casings)
1 package ground turkey (usually 1 1/3 lb)
1 1/2 Tbsp fennel seeds
3 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I use a combination of rosemary, sage, parsley and basil)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste (1/2 - 1 tsp of each)
1 container bocconcini, small fresh mozzarella balls packed in water
olive oil for drizzling
1 can crushed tomatoes
Mix everything except the mozzarella and tomatoes with your hands until thoroughly combined. Take a small handful of the sausage mixture (about golf ball size) and flatten it in your hand like a hamburger patty. Wrap it around a mozzarella ball and roll in your hand until the cheese is fully covered. Place on a baking sheet and continue until you have approximately 24 balls. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Place the plan drippings in a sauce pan and add the crushed tomatoes. Reduce for 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Freeze or refrigerate if you're making ahead. Serve sauce over meatballs.
*Using the drippings allows you to take advantage of the rich turkey broth and seasoning that is released as the meat cooks. But it may make the sauce a little greasy so just remove what you can when it cools (the grease will rise to the top).