Linguini with Turkey Meatballs and Ragu of Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers

posted: 06/30/10
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Linguini with Turkey Meatballs and Ragu of Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons/55 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red jalapeno chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons/25 g tomato paste
  • (4) 14-ounce/400-g cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1pound/470 g fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup/about 5 g fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 3 slices white sandwich bread (about 4 ounces/115 g), crust trimmed, bread torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup/105 ml whole milk
  • 1 pound/470 g ground turkey meat
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons/about 7 g chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons/5 g finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons/about 5 g salt
  • 1 teaspoon/about 3 g freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon/about 3 g paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon/about 1 1/2 g freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about)/80 g all purpose flour, for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml olive oil
  • 1 pound/470 g fresh linguini
  • 2 tablespoons/25 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup/10 g finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 450?F/232?C. Line a cast iron pan or roasting pan with foil and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until very hot. Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven and place the bell peppers in the hot pan. Rub 2 teaspoons/10 ml of olive oil over the peppers to coat.
  2. Using oven mitts, place the pan in the oven and roast the peppers for 20 minutes, turning the peppers over every 5 minutes, or until the skins are blackened and blistered on all sides.
  3. Using tongs, transfer the peppers to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam for 15 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and allow the peppers to cool slightly. Peel the skin off of the peppers and remove the seeds.Cut the peppers into strips. Transfer the pepper strips to a bowl, and toss to combine.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons/45 ml of oil over medium heat. Add the onions, jalapeno chili and garlic, and saut? for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Squeeze the tomatoes to crush them slightly and add them with their sauce to the pot.
  5. Add the sprig of thyme, the leaves from the sprig of oregano, and the bay leaf. Stir in the fresh tomatoes and the roasted bell pepper strips. Simmer gently over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours, to allow the flavors blend, stirring occasionally and adding 1/2 cup/115 ml of water after the first hour. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Add the basil.
  6. Place the bread in a large bowl. Pour the milk over and toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the bread absorbs the milk and becomes very soggy. Add the turkey, onion, carrot, celery, egg, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, nutmeg, paprika and pepper. Using your hands, blend the turkey mixture thoroughly.
  7. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches and using about 2 tablespoons/30 g for each, shape the turkey mixture into 24 golf ball-sized meatballs, dusting your hands with flour to coat the meatballs and prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Add the meatballs to the hot oil and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are brown on all sides. Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.

To make the pasta:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguini and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, about 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup/80 ml of the cooking water. In a large saut? pan over medium heat, stir the butter and 1/3 cup/80 ml of the reserved cooking water to blend. Add the linguini with the parsley and toss to coat.
  2. Using a two-pronged carving fork, swirl some of the pasta around the fork. Slide the pasta off the fork and mound it in the center of a plate. Repeat for each serving. Arrange the meatballs around the pasta. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs and around the pasta, and serve.
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