Penne With Turkey Meatballs
- 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup grated Romano
- 1 pound ground turkey preferably dark meat
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (see recipe)
- 1 pound dried penne pasta
In a large bowl add bread crumbs milk and mix until well combined. Mix in eggs and 1/2 cup Romano cheese and mix well. Add turkey and gently combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf-size balls.
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. When almost smoking, add meatballs and without moving or turning the meat, allow it to brown for about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs and brown other side. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Add tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow meatballs to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and keep warm on stove. Be careful not to overhandle the meatballs since they are soft and fragile.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse pasta with water since you want to retain the pasta natural starches so that the sauce will cling to the penne.
Remove meatballs from sauce and place in serving bowl. Pour some tomato sauce over meatballs, but leave about 1 cup of sauce in skillet. Place the cooked penne into the skillet with the remaining sauce and toss well. Pour sauced pasta into a large serving bowl. Serve alongside the meatballs.
This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.
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