Midweek meals are tough. You get home late and the last thing you really feel like doing is launching in to cooking. Often the only thing standing between you and boxed mac and cheese (choose your own family’s poison) is some heroism. Planning ahead doesn’t hurt either ;).
Tonight’s plan was for meatballs based on a recipe from the A16 cookbook (despite Appleman’s behavior) as well as a dish I am calling Linguine con Broccoli Di Cicco. The latter using something I’ve become fond of from my local farmers’ market.
The is my adaptation of the meatballs which my wife loves:
2 lbs ground turkey
2 tsp fennel
1 tsp peppercorn
4+ oz olive oil
4+ oz bread crumbs
1 clove garlic chopped
1 c parsley chopped
1 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
I like to crush the pepper and fennel seed in my mortar but you could use a spice grinder. After that you just mix everything together. One note is that I will take old bread and run it through the processor to make my own bread crumbs then store it in the freezer for future use. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on tray with olive oil rubbed on it. Into a hot (400 F) oven for 20 minutes or so. I then put them in a dish with some of my homemade tomato sauce and warm that through before serving. Also note I prepped the meat the night before while reheating leftovers so I had a leg up.
While the meatballs were in the oven I washed the greens, put them in a dish, salted them, and threw them in the oven as well. Well salted water was placed on the stove to boil and I prepped the rest of the pasta ingredients. This is my original recipe for pasta with roasted broccoli di ciccio.
Pasta with Roasted Broccoli di Cicco
1 lb broccoli di cicco (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic sliced
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
blood orange olive oil
1/2 lb dried pasta (or to taste)
fresh lemon to taste
serves four adults
Rinse the broccoli then place in a roasting pan with salt and some olive oil and put in a hot oven (400 F) for 10-15 minutes or so turning a few times so it doesn’t dry out too much. I am guessing on the weight. Regular broccoli could be used but it doesn’t have the same bitterness which I think helps make this dish. I would grab rapini instead. Cook pasta in well salted water so it will be done about the same time. With a few minutes of cooking time left warm a large skillet over the med-high heat. When hot, add some olive oil and the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for a few moments. Add the broccoli and stir to coat. Add a bit of pasta cooking water and lemon to taste. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss. Place a serving on plate, grate fresh cheese, and then sprinkle with blood orange olive oil. Eat!
The meatballs were served as a secondi , of course. A little pecorino doesn’t hurt here either. I paired the meal with some Cabernet Sauvignon which was a good match for both dishes.