This recipe, adapted from one by Lidia Bastianich, relies on turkey meat. Try serving the meatballs with a homemade tomato sauce, such as this twist on a classic.
Serves 6 hungry people, with a few leftovers for lunch
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 2 pounds ground turkey meat (I used one pound dark, one pound white)
• 1 cup panko or bread crumbs, unseasoned
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup milk
• ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water
• 1 cup pine nuts, toasted in the oven at 350 F until almost burnt (about 10 minutes)
• ½ cup flour
• salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Saute onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Combine with all other ingredients and form into one to one-and-a-half-inch balls. Season with salt and pepper.
Dust each meatball in flour: Put flour in a bowl, toss each meatball individually, and tap off any excess flour. Transfer to a tray.
Test a mini meatball: make a small ball, approximately one inch in diameter. In a large skillet, heat four tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering, then sear the meatball until it becomes golden brown and is cooked through. Taste for seasoning. Adjust the rest of the mix accordingly.
Sear the meatballs: with your bigger meatballs, sear each in the same skillet until they become golden brown. (Don't crowd the pan—you'll have to do this step in batches.) If you're like me and prefer a little burnt edge, go ahead and burn them a little bit. They will not be cooked in the middle, but that's ok, because the next step is to ...
Bake them in the oven until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Check for done-ness. When done, transfer to pot of slowly simmering tomato sauce. Enjoy!