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Ina Garten's Salty Secret To Delicious Turkey Meatballs
Ina Garten adds prosciutto to her turkey meatballs, a salty, fatty, flavorful cut of meat that adds a unique element to the dish and truly sets it apart from other variations.
Made in Italy for centuries, prosciutto is a salami (aka, a cured pork product) that comes from pork leg. It’s salt-cured for many weeks before being dry-aged for up to 36 months.
The curing and drying process — along with other factors like how it’s seasoned and where it’s made — makes prosciutto salty, sweet, rich, and delicate all at once.
In addition to providing Garten’s turkey meatballs with a salty, umami-like flavor, prosciutto also helps to keep the blend of turkey and sausage moist and rich.
Garten first soaks breadcrumbs in milk; this is called a panade, which is a starch-liquid combo that keeps meat moist and tender. The mixture sits and thickens for five minutes.
She then mixes ground turkey, sweet Italian pork sausage, prosciutto, and asiago cheese with seasonings and herbs like salt, pepper, parsley, red pepper flakes, and oregano.
Lastly, Garten adds the eggs and olive oil to bring the ingredients together — being careful not to overwork the meat — and shapes the mixture into balls before baking them.
This recipe doesn't require searing or pan-frying the meatballs first. Garten directly bakes them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 35-40 minutes or until they're browned.