An easy, rustic interpretation of Italian for two. Turkey meatballs, lined with earthy porcini mushrooms, rosemary, and Pecorino cheese and gently simmered in a rosemary-porcini tomato sauce, and poured over creamy polenta. The whole thing is lightened up (turkey meatballs, no milk or cream in the polenta), so it's hearty, but it won't weigh you down. Really terrific comfort food.
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
- 1/2 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 1/4 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano, divided
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 1 whole stem fresh rosemary
- 4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup dry polenta
In a small bowl, soak the porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of recently boiled water for 15 minutes. Once the mushrooms are reconstituted, finely chop and reserve the soaking water. Adjust oven rack to 6 inches below broiler element and preheat broiler to high.
In a large bowl, gently mix together half of the chopped porcini mushrooms, turkey, egg, milk, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 2 tablespoons parsley, garlic, and olive oil until just combined. Roll the mixture into 12 equal-sized balls, and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the remaining mushrooms and their liquid, rosemary stem, remaining parsley, and marinara sauce in a medium skillet over low heat. Place the broiled meatballs directly in the sauce, and simmer over medium-low heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has visibly reduced to the consistency of a thick ragú, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 5 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Whisk in polenta in a thin steady stream and cook, stirring constantly until creamy and hydrated. Whisk in 1 cup of Pecorino Romano and season to taste with salt. Serve polenta with meatballs and sauce.