Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Turkey Meatballs

By the way it tastes better than it looks ;)

Its as good as it looks 😉

Cooking with kids is an experience for the brave and patient. Preparing anything will take twice as long when little hands are involved and spills are bound to happen. So, I have to be honest and say that for the most part I keep them out of my cooking space. (I am one of those anal cooks that likes to have the kitchen to themselves…it’s pretty bad.)

The one thing that we do cook together are pancakes, the room for errors is slim and they love tasting the batter. Plus, cooking helps build children’s self-esteem and is a great way for pre-schoolers to explore with their senses.

But cooking only pancakes gets old and by now they’ve mastered the beating part so we’ve moved on to grander things: Spaghetti & Meatballs.

If you are feeling brave or just want to enjoy a delicious plate of spaghetti here is a recipe I adapted from the cookbook “How To Boil Water.”

What you will need:

1lb. of spaghetti What is Spaghetti without spaghetti?

1lb. of spaghetti
What is Spaghetti without spaghetti?

 

Milk (2 tbsp.) Bread Crumbs (1/3 cup) Grated Parmesan (1/2 cup) Worcestershire Sauce (2 dashes) An Egg Black Pepper Garlic (2 cloves) Half an Onion Ground Turkey (1 1/2 lbs.) Olive Oil (1/4 cup) Parsley Leaves (1/4 cup) Kosher Salt (2 tsp)

Milk (2 tbsp.)
Bread Crumbs (1/3 cup)
Grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
Worcestershire Sauce (2 dashes)
An Egg
Black Pepper
Garlic (2 cloves)
Half an Onion
Ground Turkey (1 1/2 lb..)
Olive Oil (1/4 cup)
Parsley Leaves (1/4 cup)
Kosher Salt (2 tsp)

28 oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes Onion (1/4) Garlic (3 cloves) Olive Oil (2 tbsp.) Kosher Salt (2 tsp.) Sprig of thyme Black pepper Parsley (1/2 tbsp.)

28 oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes
Onion (1/4)
Garlic (3 cloves)
Olive Oil (2 tbsp.)
Kosher Salt (2 tsp.)
Sprig of thyme
Black pepper
Parsley (1/2 tbsp.)

We started with the meatballs.

Chop half an onion and two cloves of garlic, while a little helper beats the egg.

In a bowl place the egg, turkey meat, onion, parsley, garlic, parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, egg, milk ,Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. Mix until combined, but don’t over mix.

All in a bowl.

All in a bowl.

One of their favorite parts. Messy helpers = happy helpers.

One of their favorite parts. Messy helpers = happy helpers.

Out of the mixture form about 18 meatballs (slightly larger than golf balls). Since I had a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old helping ours are all uneven, no big deal.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Meatball makin’ in action

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

if only their hands stayed this cute for ever

Place all of the meat balls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 24 hours. Later you will cook them in olive oil and combine them with the marinara sauce.

See uneven meatballs. My niece wants the "baby" one.

See uneven meatballs. My niece wants the “baby” one.

While the meatballs rested in the fridge we moved on to the marinara sauce.

First, chop the onion and peel and smash the garlic. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium fire.

Add the onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt to the saucepan. Cook until lightly brown, about 5 minutes.

Look there is my hand!  (And my short thumb courtesy of my father)

Short, stubby thumbs courtesy of my father.

Once the onion is browned squeeze the tomatoes through your hands (have the sous chef help you) and  add them into the pan with their juices, the parsley and the thyme.

Tomato juices all over the place, anyone? (Tip: Laughter is always the best response to cooking mishaps.)

Tomato juices all over the place, anyone? (Tip: Laughter is always the best response to cooking mishaps.)

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.

Remove and discard herb sprigs. Taste and stir in the remaining salt if needed. Season to taste with pepper and save covered until the meatballs are ready.

Now back to the meatballs.

Bring the meatballs out of the fridge. Heat half the oil (1/8 of a cup) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add about half of the meatballs and cook turning sides occasionally. Once all the sides are well browned (about 6-8 minutes) transfer them to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs.

Browning in progress.

Browning in progress.

Once all the meatballs are ready, drain off the oil and wipe out the skillet. Return the meatballs and pour in the marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Boil your spaghetti and drain. Then serve one or two meatballs and some sauce on top of the spaghetti. Sprinkle some parmesan. Voilà: A delicious plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

It was certainly yummy in our tummy 🙂

 

*All photos were taken by me.

 

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