Sunday, September 14, 2008

Penne with Meatballs and Marjoram and Marinara

Penne with Meatballs and Marjoram and Marinara

Recently we had a fantastic dinner at Tavolata, a hip restaurant in the Belltown region of Seattle. We enjoyed a pasta dish of Rigatoni with Spicy Italian Sausage, Marjoram and Tomato. The dish was so memorable that we recreated our version of this to enjoy at home. I use low-fat ground turkey in my meatballs to keep it tasty, but light.

1 Package of Penne (12 oz.)
1 Jar of Marinara Sauce (26 oz.)
1 oz. Fresh Marjoram, de-stemmed
2 oz. Parmesan Cheese, grated
Olive Oil for drizzle


1 lb. Ground Turkey Breast (or meat of your choice)
1 Large Egg
3 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
¾ cup Dried Bread Crumbs
½ cup Red Wine
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 tablespoon Dried Basil
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees.

Place all of the Meatball ingredients in a large bow and mix until well blended. Scoop and form small (1 oz.) meatballs and arrange in rows on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Place in oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until lightly brown and firm. Remove from oven.

Transfer Meatballs to a large sauté pan and cover with Marinara sauce. Cook, on low, to lightly simmer.

Cook Penne pasta according to manufactures instructions.

Assemble the dish by adding the drained pasta to the meatballs and sauce. Add all the fresh Marjoram leaves to the mix. Toss to coat and cook for an additional minute or two. Serve with a topping of grated Parmesan Cheese and a drizzle of a quality Olive Oil.

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