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Rocco DiSpirito's "My Mamas Meatballs"

Serves 6

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion, divided
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, such as Swansons, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups Redpack tomato pure
  • 1 1/2 cups Redpack diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 ounces lean ground turkey breast, such as Jennie-O
  • 4 ounces 96% lean ground beef, such as Lauras Lean
  • 2 ounces extra-lean ground pork, such as Farmer John
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 2 cups puffed Kamut cereal, such as Arrowhead Mills
  • Salt
PREPARATION

Preheat the broiler.

Coat a large skillet with 4 seconds of cooking spray. Add half the garlic and half the onion and a pinch of red pepper flakes, place over medium high heat and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in half the chicken broth, all of the tomato pure and the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Place the eggplant, cut side up on a broiler pan and broil until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the broiler, place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high until tender, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

Scoop the eggplant pulp out of its skin and let any excess water drip off. Measure out 1/2 cup of the pulp, then chop it fine.

Combine the turkey, beef and pork in a large bowl. Place the egg white, the remaining chicken broth, remaining onion, remaining garlic and the parsley in a blender, and blend until finely chopped (not pured), about 30 seconds. Add the mixture to the meat; add the Parmigiano and crumble the Kamut cereal in with your fingers. Add the eggplant, season with salt and red pepper flakes, and mix gently, using a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a very thick wet paste.

Use a tablespoon to measure 16 equal heaping mounds onto a clean work surface and form the mounds into balls with your hands.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with 4 seconds of cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute. Roll the meatballs and brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove the browned meatballs from the pan and gently place in the tomato sauce; coat the pan with another 4 seconds of cooking spray, and brown the rest of the meatballs. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook at a low simmer for 1 hour.

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