Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Sauce

I made this to accompany a bottle of wine Jeff and I bought on our trip to the Fingerlakes region of New York last month. It's a fantastic red blend called Synergy, produced by Shalestone Vineyards. It was my favorite of all the local wines we tasted, so I wanted to make something really good to enjoy it with on a lovely, just-starting-to-think-about-fall evening. This simple dish, served over fresh pasta, fit the bill.

Roasted Tomato-Pepper Sauce
2 lbs fresh tomatoes (I used romas and some of our German Johnsons)
3 or 4 sweet or mildly hot peppers
1/2 small yellow onion, minced
4 to 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
small handful fresh basil, chopped
salt & black pepper

Grill the tomatoes and peppers until skins char; try to keep them whole on the grill so you don't lose all the juice. Let cool enough to handle, then peel. Core the tomatoes and remove seeds from the peppers, then chop or puree. (I pureed most of them but kept some big chunks to give the sauce texture.) Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent, then add the tomatoes, peppers, and their juice. Cook this down for a while, tasting for salt and pepper. Add the basil just a little before serving.

Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 c fresh ground breadcrumbs
1/4 c grated parmigiano cheese
salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together with your hands. Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour, then shape into balls. I like mine about the size of big walnuts, but you can also make big ones or little-teeny ones depending on the presentation you want. Fry the meatballs in a little olive oil at fairly high heat until browned all over, then add to the sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce.

Serve over pasta. Leftovers freeze well, or make a great meatball sub.

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