I was watching Giada a few Saturday mornings ago and had to wipe drool away during her “meatball” episode.  Meatballs just aren’t something I make during the summer.  When I think of meatballs, I think of spaghetti, warm sweaters and leaves turning.

So when I watched one of my favorite Food Network stars make a Meatball and Kale Pizza, I knew this was coming to a fall menu near me.

I picked up a medium dough from my favorite pizza parlour (Fellini’s in Atlanta) and used only half the batch of meatballs on the pizza.  The other half I served over fresh spinach linguine noodles with marinara later in the week.

M husband is a little wary of ground turkey, but he absolutely loved the taste of these.  I’ll definitely be making again to use in marinara, meatball subs, etc.

Tell me, how do you make your favorite meatballs?

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Browned meatballs out of the oven

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Add mozzarella and parmesan and back into the oven

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Warm and cheesy out of the oven

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Crispy kale tops off this wholesome meal!

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pizza:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling the baking sheet and for drizzling
  • One 1-pound ball pizza dough (I used a medium dough for a 12.5 in pizza stone)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
  • 8 Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs, recipe follows, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 medium leaves kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped and massaged with evoo and salt and pepper

Directions

For the sauce: In a heavy small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg, bay leaf and garlic. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens to sauce consistency and is smooth, 2 to 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and garlic.

For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Place the pizza stone in the oven, to get hot, while it is preheating.  Meanwhile, work with the dough to get it “stretched out” to go on the stone.  Honestly, this is an art.  Luckily, Jim has mastered it.  If this is your first time working with dough, you might want to buy two to play with until you get it right.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the stone and place it on a trivet.  Quickly spread the dough over the stone, being careful not to burn your fingers. Drizzle the dough with olive oil. Spoon the white sauce on top and spread evenly leaving a 1-inch border around the dough. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Arrange the meatballs, cut-side down, on top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the kale in an even layer on top of the meatballs. Bake until the kale is crispy, 10 minutes longer.

Cut into squares and serve.

Classic Italian Turkey Meatballs:

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs (I use Panko for everything these days)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • 1 pound spicy ground turkey
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions. Stir to blend. Add the ground turkey and sausage meat. Using fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.

Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (22 to 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy nonstick baking sheet, spacing apart. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until cooked through, 15 minutes.

For more hearty fall meal ideas, get inspiration from my fellow #SundaySupper foodies.  Check out their tasty blogs below:

Amazing Breakfasts, Brunches, and Breads

Outstanding Soups, Starters and Sides:

Comforting Main Dishes:

Decadent Desserts:

Tasty Drinks:

Portobello Pizzas

May 11, 2013

I love finding recipes that are not only easy and delicious, but good for you! This one does not disappoint. Another bonus is that it’s a gluten-free recipe. I made a few tweaks from the original recipe, including:
- Used caramelized onions and fresh basil leaves as toppings
- Subbed turkey pepperoni (you can omit to make it a meatless dish)
- Omitted the black olives, anchovies and sausage

I served these tasty personal pizzas alongside a quinoa salad and roasted asparagus sprinkled with blue cheese.

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Quick Tip: Wrap a few garlic cloves in aluminum foil (drizzled with evoo) and roast in the oven alongside the mushroom caps.

Pizza Party

July 18, 2010

I love Fellini’s Pizza.  Now I love that I can make it at home. 

Swing by any Fellini’s (or another pizzaria…most of them sell their dough) and ask for a “large dough.”  Once you get experienced with pulling the dough, you can actually get four pizzas out of one large dough.  We’ve been trying out lots of different pizzas and sauces. Every single one has been delicious. 

When you get the dough home, roll it out with a rolling-pin, being sure to dust your surface generously with flour.  Try picking the dough up, once rolled, and using your hands to stretch it thinner — you’ll get better with practice.  I promise.

Lay the dough out on a hot pizza stone, top with whatever sauce, cheese and toppings you like and pop into a 400 degree oven, on the lower rack (this cooks the crust perfectly and won’t burn the cheese on top) for about eight minutes.  When it’s ready, slice into pieces and serve with parmesan cheese (it’s okay to use the stuff in the green container on pizza) and red pepper flakes.

To throw an awesome Pizza Party, it’s good to have two pizza stones. As one is set on the table for your friends to eat, you can be getting another pie ready and in the oven.  Jim and I did this for seven other friends while we were on vacay together and we made eight pizzas — putting a new one out about every ten minutes. It was a hit and soooo much fun!  We’ll definitely be doing it again!

Spreading the sauce on the dough

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Sprinkle a little cheese

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Everything Pizza: onions, turkey pepperoni, banana peppers, black olives...

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Hawain Pizza: Pineapple chunks, sliced ham, sauce and cheese

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BBQ Chucken Pizza: BBQ chicken, white onion, cheese & BBQ sauce

Note:  To make one BBQ chicken pizza, I grill one chicken breast on the Panini Maker, then shred once cooked.  I add it to pot with about a cup of bottled BBQ sauce and heat it all through on low, about 10 minutes or so.  Then it’s ready for a pizza!

Green Egg and…Pizza

January 24, 2010

Some of the most delicious pizza I’ve had was homemade on Friday night and prepared on the Big Green Egg.  I made a batch of marinara from scratch and we took it to our friend’s place (where the Egg is nestled) and made four different, delicious pizzas.  We used premade, refrigerated dough and layered  on the toppings.  The Egg was a hot 550 degrees and each pizza cooked for about 7-8 minutes.  The first pizza was all cheese (and turned into a calzone — working with dough can be tricky!)  One was a “white” with blackened chicken, mozzerella, red onions, banana peppers and sun-dried tomatoes.  Another had roughly chopped salami, green onions and fontina cheese and the last concoction had a little of everything.  The crust came out thin and crispy with a nice smoky flavor.  I can’t wait for the next pizza party!

White Pizza on the Egg

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