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Author Notes: A basic turkey meatball recipe that I modified with a Spanish tapas style influence. Simple and very healthy, these are great weeknight and party fare too! —cucina di mammina
Serves makes about 15-20 large polpette
spanish-style spicy turkey polpette
- 2 pounds ground fresh turkey (purchase this freshly ground if possible and ask for white and dark meat blend for best flavor and to keep them moist)
- 3 medium organic eggs (slightly beaten)
- 1/2 teaspoon or so of ground cumin
- 1 to 2 cloves fresh minced garlic (or you can use dehydrated garlic to taste)
- 1 teaspoon or so Spanish smoky sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- dried red chili pepper flakes to taste
- 3/4 cup or so of fresh parsley, chopped finely
- small handful of finely chopped Spanish red onion (sauteed lightly in olive oil until tender, NOT browned
- toasted fresh plain bread crumbs, finely ground (about a handful or two)
- 2/3 cup grated manchego cheese (OR grated romano cheese)
- chicken stock or milk, if needed
- finely chopped Spanish olives stuffed with pimento (approx 6-8 olives or to taste)
- sea salt & black pepper
- glass of white wine
roasted tomato sauce
- vine ripe plum tomatoes (about 8 to 10 )
- fresh garlic cloves (peeled and chunked)
- fresh basil leaves
- sea salt and pepper
- for the roasted tomato sauce: Wash and dry the tomatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Place them on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil generously and season with sea salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes on broil in your oven until they start to get toasty and the aroma permeates your casa.
- At the last few minutes of cooking sprinkle the chunked garlic over the tomatoes and allow to cook until softened. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and once cooled, pulse in a food processor to blend and achieve a delicious chunky sauce.
- for the polpette Add the first eleven (11 ingredients) into a large wide bowl and blend gently until the egg has incorporated well. Let this rest for about a minute or two and if the mixture is too wet, add a bit more plain breadcrumb, if the mixture is too dry add a splash of stock or milk. Add the chopped olives and season with sea salt and pepper ( use a light hand with the sea salt as the cheese and the olives are very well salted!)
- for the polpette: Add the first eleven (11 ingredients) into a large wide bowl and blend gently until the egg has incorporated well. Let this rest for about a minute or two and if the mixture is too wet, add a bit more plain breadcrumb, if the mixture is too dry add a splash of stock or milk. Add the chopped olives and season with sea salt and pepper ( use a light hand with the sea salt as the cheese and the olives are very well salted!)
- The final mixture must come together easily, be soft but hold it’s shape fairly well. In large skillet or dutch oven-style pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Place on medium heat and shape the mixture into smaller or more traditional style polpette (meatballs.) Allow these to brown well; resist the urge to move them or turn them too soon as they will fall apart easily.
- Turn them until they are golden brown all around and then add in the glass of white wine and saute on medium low heat until done (the wine will reduce and leave a delicious coating of flavor on the polpette; break one in half to be sure these are completely cooked through with NO pink at all.)
- Remove the polpette from the pan and serve immediately with the roasted tomato sauce or allow them to cool and store in the fridge or freezer for later enjoyment.