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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce Over Polenta Bowls

Chef Alli’s Meatballs and Tomato Basil Sauce over Polenta Bowls
Replacing spaghetti with polenta in this recipe saves calories, as does using ground turkey in the meatballs. And, the deliciously fresh tomato sauce is truly a winner in this dish: quick and easy! 

Tomato Basil Sauce
4 strips turkey bacon
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a saute pan or skillet, cook bacon until crispy over medium high heat; remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. In bacon drippings, cook onion over medium heat until translucent, approx. 6-8 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to cook another 30 seconds until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes, parsley, sugar, and pepper flakes. Simmer 15-20 minutes; stir in basil, then season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

8 oz. ground sirloin
8 oz. ground turkey
1 egg
1 tsp. dried parsley
¾ cup grated parmesan
½ tsp. fennel seeds
1 slice white bread, crumbled finely
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dried polenta

In a large mixing bowl, combine sirloin with turkey, egg, parsley, parmesan, fennel seeds and bread; mix well, then season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into meatballs approx. 1 ½ -2 inches in size and place into a greased and bake for 20 minutes for in preheated 450 degree F. oven, until nicely browned. Remove cooked meatballs from any fats that have accumulated in the baking dish and place into prepared Tomato Basil Sauce; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup dried polenta according to package directions.

To serve, pour sauce over bowls of soft, warm polenta then top with meatballs; garnish with freshly shredded parmesan, if desired.

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli