Yes – you read right. Drunk. Pasta. (not drunken noodles, the Thai-inspired dish).
As I was watching Rachael Ray in my usual morning show lineup (Rachael Ray, Dr. Oz, Live! with Kelly and Michael, in case you were interested), she, Tyler Florence in tow, introduced to me the amazing idea of cooking pasta in red wine, the way they do in Tuscany.
So naturally, I threw my dinner plan (BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potatoes) out the window to experiment with this drunken phenomenon in my kitchen.
I decided to create a Parmesan Cream Sauce using Jenee’s GF Roux technique for this. I also have a recipe for Turkey Basil Artichoke meatballs that’s pretty delicious, but I decided on the Turkey-Bacon-Spinach meatball route for this dish, since I thought the spinach would go better with the cream sauce.
Turkey Bacon Spinach Meatballs
This makes about 20 meatballs, about 1.5-inches in diameter.
1 lb Ground Turkey
10 Pieces Bacon, diced
2 C Fresh Spinach, chopped
1/4 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Granules, Oregano (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Cook your diced bacon until crisp. Remove and place in a very large bowl to let cool. Remove 2 Tb bacon fat and save for later (you will use it in the roux for your cream sauce). Add the diced onions to the pan and cook until translucent.
When they are finished, add to the bowl with the bacon. Add your chopped spinach, the ground turkey, and your seasonings to the bowl. Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll 18-20 meatballs (about 1.5-2 in diameter) with your hands, and place in the oven for 30 minutes (or until fully cooked). Yum!
Gluten Free Parmesan Cream Sauce
This makes about 2.5 cups.
2 C Half and Half
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
3 Tb All Purpose GF Flour
2 Tb Bacon Grease (or other fat)
1 Tb Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (or, a mixture of garlic granules, salt and pepper)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Create a roux by mixing your fat and flour to a paste. Add the half and half and your seasonings, and turn the heat up high enough just to boil – stirring constantly (if you don’t, you’ll get clumps of your roux mixture, and then you’ll have to try to whisk it out. It’s just more work than it’s worth… so STIR!). Once the liquid begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer, continuing to stir constantly. You should feel the sauce begin to thicken. Add the parmesan cheese and continue to stir until thickened to your liking. Transfer off of heat and into a bowl for serving.
8 oz Rice Noodles (We used Annie Chung’s brand, but you can use whatever GF noodles you’d like!)
Use a 60:40 mixture of wine to water (or, you could use the whole bottle of wine for your noodles if you want even more of a red wine flavor – but it will steam off quickly. We only had enough wine to do a 60:40 water to wine mixture… and things turned out just fine, for reference). Bring to a boil. Add your noodles and cook thoroughly – drain and rinse with cold water, toss with oil of your choice to keep from sticking. Your noodles will be very purple!
Serve your pasta with a few meatballs and a hearty helping of parmesan cream sauce.
I went back for seconds on this one – which is a rare occasion for me. Alex loved it, too!