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Lately, I’ve been stepping out of the box with my cooking. Sometimes it goes well, other times, not so much. I’d like to color my experience with turkey sausage a success… save for the excessive garlic taste, but that can be easily resolved. 

Earlier this month, Josh and I were out shopping and I saw the latest issue of Food Network magazine sitting on the rack and I had to have it. How could I not? The dish on the cover looked absolutely delicious. Funnily enough, after buying the magazine, it just sat next to my bed for a couple of days. One afternoon, I pawed through it to look for the recipe that was featured on the front cover. I glanced at it, decided I would make it eventually, then set the magazine back down. It wasn’t until Thursday morning when I sat at break talking with coworkers while eating leftovers that I figured I would make it.

There’s something about talking to coworkers about my cooking that motivates me to cook. It might have to do with the fact that I offered the pair I was sitting with a bowl of the pasta and turkey meatballs. This was because they didn’t want to hear of it unless I was bringing it in. What choice did I really have?

So that night after work I did a bit of grocery shopping and got what I would need. After putting everything else away, I assembled everything the recipe called for.

Ingredients! Back row (left to right): eggs, a bulb of garlic, olive oil and whole wheat orechiette pasta.  Front: Italian Sausage, red pepper flakes & some broccoli.  (some side notes: ever since I've had whole wheat pasta, I don't usually touch the regular stuff anymore. The recipe actually calls for broccolini but the market I shop at doesn't have that. Real shocking.)

Ingredients!
Back row (left to right): eggs, a bulb of garlic, olive oil and whole wheat orechiette pasta.
Front: Italian Sausage, red pepper flakes & some broccoli.
(some side notes: ever since I’ve had whole wheat pasta, I don’t usually touch the regular stuff any more  The recipe actually calls for broccolini but the market I shop at doesn’t have that. Real shocking.)

I started out by following the recipe where it said to roll the sausage into meatballs. That quickly grew old and I utilized mum’s petite ice cream scoop to get the tiny meatballs that I would need. Not long after getting a batch done, I fried them up.

IMG_7268edit

Soon after getting both batches fried up, I let them drain on a paper towel lined plate while the pasta finished cooking.

IMG_7269editWhen the pasta and broccoli finished cooking (I didn’t grab any pictures of the pasta raw, in transit or cooked until the very last one), I drained it and set to work sautéeing the red pepper flakes and some of garlic in some oil

I'm a sucker for only having to wash a couple of dishes rather than dirtying up three or four.

I’m a sucker for only having to wash a couple of dishes rather than dirtying up three or four.

Not long after the garlic began to grow puffy, golden and aromatic I reintroduced the orechiette and broccoli into the pan and added the egg that had been whisked with cooking water (something else I didn’t take a picture of).

The end result?

Orechiette with turkey meatballs and broccoli. Or, in simple terms: pasta, some kind of meat and a vegetable.

Orechiette with turkey meatballs and broccoli. Or, in simple terms: pasta, some kind of meat and a vegetable.

Recipe: Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

ACTIVE: 25 minutes TOTAL: 30 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients:

  • Kosher Salt
  • 12 ounces orechiette pasta
  • 2 bunches broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta salata or parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the broccolini during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta and broccolini. 
  2. Meanwhile, roll the sausage meat into about 20 small meatballs. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Pour off any drippings from the skillet, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil , the garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add the pasta, broccolini and meatballs. Whisk the egg with the reserved cooking water in a small bowl, then add to the skillet and stir until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the pasta among bowls. Sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
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