Turkey Meatballs Florentine with Artichoke Rigatoni

Chicken Florentine MeatballsChoosy Girls Choose Balls

Life is about settling sometimes. Like that summer that I wanted to go to Florence to see the statue of David’s gorgeous frame. And instead I ended up spreading sauce at the pizzeria down the street with some dude named Dave. Say what you will about him – his biceps were sweet as fuck from throwing dough all day long.

Be happy that he had those biceps, because if I remember right, that was the summer of 50 Shades of Marinara.

That’s right – and as the temperature sweltered, I learned how to handle meat like a pro. In fact, I did so many good deeds, I came to find out that someone sang my praises in sharpie all over the bathroom wall of the restaurant. A girl likes a little popularity, but that was too much meat play with all by my lonesome.

Cass, even for you, the doyenne of fame whores, is a bathroom stall really your enduring legacy? It doesn’t even do your whoring around justice.

You’re probably right. And I’ve upgraded my meat handling skills to this toothsoome combination of ground turkey, prosciutto, spinach and cheese. Can’t say that I’m settling anymore, can you?

Finally. We get to it. Bring home the bacon, baby. This recipe you man-handled is worthy of your true stature. Now, that’s something that deserves everlasting pride emblazoned on the bathroom wall in perpetuity.

For a good time, play with these balls?  Hold on.  Lemme grab my sharpie.

Turkey Meatballs Florentine with Artichoke Rigatoni

24 oz of frozen artichokes
1 c of chicken broth
1/4 c. of olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
juice of a lemon

4 oz. prosciutto, finely chopped
2 c of fresh breadcrumbs
2 small onion, finely chopped
4 small garlic clove, minced
16 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry (drier than your cho after watching Jersey Shore, realizing that you never want to “smoosh” anyone ever)
3 tbs evoo
4 large eggs
2 pounds ground turkey (chicken works just fine too)
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup of grated parmesan

2 lbs of rigatoni pasta
16.5 oz. jar of alfredo sauce (or make your own – I could give a shit)
1/2 c. of broth
1 c. of white wine

Preheat the oven to 400°.  While the oven warm up, make a little hot tub for your artichokes to skinny dip in – add chicken broth, olive oil, thyme, black pepper and lemon to a casserole pan with a lid.  Get those babies good and moist tossing them in the sauce, plonk a cover on top and throw in the oven to braise into tender goodness. Let those babies hang out for 45 minutes.

Now for your meatballs – take off your jewelry because your hands are going to get dirty.  Beside, those bitches that handle meat with diamonds on are skank skeezers.  And not the good kind.  Who wants fucking meat bits in their Cartier?  Lame.  But I digress.  In a large mixing bowl, squish together the prosciutto, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, spinach, olive oil, eggs, turkey, white pepper, salt, parsley and parmesan.  Get in there like you’re trying to get to know that meat biblically.

Eve and I can appreciate a big set of balls, so grab a quarter measuring cup.  Wet your hands and start scooping out 1/4 c. balls and roll like a pro.  Keep your hands wet to keep the balls looking good.  That’s what she said.

Plunk the balls on a cookie sheet rubbed down with olive oil.  Now here’s where timing comes into play – if you want everything to come (out of the oven) at the same time, put the meatballs in the oven once the artichokes have been cooking for 30 minutes.  Give the balls and chokes another 15 minutes to cook up some kinda fucking nice.

Once the balls are in the oven, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt that shit so it’s briny like sea water and toss the pasta in.  Cook according to the package directions.  As the pasta cooks, bring the alfredo sauce to a boil with the broth and white wine.  Immediately turn down to a simmer.  When the pasta is done, drain and toss with the alfredo.  Scoop the artichokes from the braising liquid and toss with the pasta, adding some of the braising liquid to thin the sauce if necessary.  Dole out pasta into warmed dishes (Ha! Who the fuck warms their dishes? Trust-fund babies?  Hmm, maybe we need one of those…) and top with meatballs.  Top with parsley and parmesan.  Take on every last one of those balls like it’s your business and business is booming.

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