Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

Mama, Carmen and I all received Barefoot Contessa’s newest cookbook for Christmas. We decided it would be fun to work through the book together, preparing the same recipes on a given week. Jim’s drooling over a picture of meatballs in How Easy Is That!? helped us decide that Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti would be next. Our kitchens in New York, Washington DC and Michigan were messy mixing and rolling out these delicious meatballs. The combination of meats, Asiago cheese, and spicy red pepper flakes made for a blog-worthy meal.

3 cups bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed
2/3 cup milk
2 lbs lean ground turkey
1/2 lb sweet Italian pork or turkey sausage, casing removed
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good olive oil plus, extra for brushing meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (24-oz) jars good marinara sauce
2 lbs dried whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever you have lying around)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process until the bread is in medium crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.  Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands.  Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.
With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.
Pour the marinara into a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package.  Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with meatballs and lots of sauce.  Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.

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