Monday, September 15, 2014

Spicy Meatballs and Sauce

This recipe was based off a Giada's turkey meatball recipe, but changed a bit.  First, Wegmans was out of ground turkey tonight, so I substituted 95% lean ground beef, I also made a few more changes.  Here's my recipe:

1 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of fresh parsley (Italian flat leaf type)
1 Tablespoon of ketchup
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of gr. black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
2 large garlic cloves
1 small onion, finely chopped

1 pound of turkey sausage, casings removed
1 pound of 95% lean ground beef

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cover a large baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, or spray with non-stick spray (like PAM).  Cut the onion in chunks, add the two garlic cloves, and the fresh basil leaves, and the fresh parsley - pulse in a food processor till finely chopped.  Beat two eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, onions, garlic, spices, and ketchup. Blend well with a large fork or spoon.  Add the meat.  Mix the mixture well with your hands, until everything is blended.  Form large balls (about 1 1/2 diameter).  I had 23.  Place on the baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 10 minutes, turn then bake another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (rinsed can and added about 1/4 can of juice/water)
1 28 ounce can of Hunts regular Tomato sauce
fresh herbs (I used thyme, basil, spicy basil, oregano, and Italian flat leaf parsley)
a spoon full of granulated sugar
1/2 cup or so of red wine
2 bay leaves
teaspoon of black pepper
dash of red pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic pressed
1/2 large onion, chopped
olive oil (about 1 Tablespoon)
additional dried basil, oregano, and thyme to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Saute' garlic and onion till softed.  Add the crushed tomatoes, sauce, and water.  Add wine, sugar, spices.  Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.  When meatballs are done, add them gently to the sauce.

Prepare pasta of choice according to box directions.  I like to use Penne, spirals, or rigatoni with sauce.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pulled Pork Pizza!

In the mood for a different type of pizza?  Try this pulled pork pizza - it will hit the spot!

I used the Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast, about 1 pound of pulled pork (I bought Wegman's from their dinner to go counter - they sell it by the pound), about 1/3 of a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce {I tried the vidalia onion because I wanted a savory BBQ sauce}, half a red onion, and one green pepper, and one 8 ounce bag of Wegmans pizza blend shredded cheese.  The pizza blend has provolone in it, which I really like for my pizzas. I used 2 of the yeast packets, because I have a large pizza pan, and we like a thicker crust.  So:

about 4 1/2 cups of flour (divided - start with 2 cups)
2 envelopes of pizza yeast
3 teaspoons of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 1/3 cup of very warm water
6 Tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat the over to 425 degrees.  Spray pizza pan with PAM.

Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the water and oil.  Mix until well blended.  Gradually add the remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon.  Dough will be sticky, but forming a ball shape.  Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if the dough gets too sticky.  Knead about 4 minutes, and either roll or press the dough so it fits in the pizza pan.

Meanwhile, slice the pepper into rings, and slice the onion into thin semi-circles.  Saute' in a bit of oil still softened.  Squeeze the BBQ sauce on the crust, then smooth into a thin, even layer.  Top evenly with the pulled pork.

Add the sliced peppers and onions, and then sprinkle liberally with cheese.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, or till crust is a golden brown and cheese is melted.  Yum, dig in!