It’s All Good: Gwyneth’s Turkey Meatballs
I’m going to file this book in my cook book shelves under “I don’t know how she does it.” I feel like “My Father’s Daughter” just came out when “It’s All Good” landed on my desk. Of course she had her partner in kitchen crime, Julia Turshen, working along side her, but having just finished the SPC cook book I’m in awe at how quickly Gwyneth Paltrow was able to produce this book. It’s as beautiful as her first, with rustically lovely images by one of my favourite food photographers, Ditte Isager. Plus, it’s packed with information. As has already been much discussed, this book is based on the elimination diet that Paltrow put herself on after a health crisis a couple of years ago. Now that she’s regained her health, she says this is a regime she turns to a couple of times a year for a tune up. While I wouldn’t eat like this exclusively, I love the idea of adding some really healthy options from it to my regular routine. And I think for people who need to avoid some ingredients all the time it’s a gold mine.
It was hard to pick a recipe to excerpt from the book but I thought SPC readers would appreciate a healthy take on a family classic: meatballs! I’ve regularly made the Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs from Goop and they’re really good. I’m excited to try this version, which are egg and gluten free. And now I’ll hand it over to G.P. – C.M.
photo by Ditte Isager
No food makes me feel more comforted than spaghetti and meatballs, and that’s always been the way. I have moved from pork and veal to the turkey variety in an ongoing effort to clean up my diet, but my meatballs still have dairy (cheese), gluten (bread crumbs), and egg. One afternoon, we devised this incredibly easy, incredibly good “friendly” version that still does the trick.
Serves 4 (makes 2 dozen golf ball–sized meatballs)
Elimination Diet (make without the tomato sauce and simply cook the meatballs in the pan the whole way through, or bake them)
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
8 fresh sage leaves
8 large fresh basil leaves
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme
Leaves from a 5-inch sprig of rosemary
¼ cup Italian parsley
1 large handful of arugula roughly chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (1 recipe) Go-To Tomato Sauce
(see page 273)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine the onion, garlic, herbs, and arugula in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the turkey, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine all the ingredients, then roll the mixture into golf ball–sized meatballs.
Place the Go-To Tomato Sauce in a large pot set over low heat and let it get warm.
While the sauce is warming, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches if necessary, until they’re browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes on a side. Transfer the browned meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and partially cover the pot. Let the meatballs cook gently for ½ hour, carefully stirring every now and then to make sure they’re cooking evenly. Serve hot with your favorite gluten-free pasta, a pot of polenta, or even on their own alongside some Broccoli Rabe.
Go-To Tomato Sauce
This recipe makes a simple, perfect tomato sauce. Slow-cooked to bring out the sweetness, it is the perfect base for many of the dishes in this book.
Makes 4 cups
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 large fresh basil leaves
Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the 2 remaining basil leaves. Turn the heat to high. Bring the sauce to a boil, turn the heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and let it bubble away on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cool and refrigerate. This sauce keeps for a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or for 6 months in the freezer.
Excerpted from the book IT’S ALL GOOD: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look and Feel Great by Gwyneth Paltrow. Copyright © 2013 by Gwyneth Paltrow. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.
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