Friday, 3 February 2012

Turkey orange & stilton meatballs

400g turkey mince, 170g white stilton with orange, 1/2 small white onion, passata tomatoes, juice and zest of 1 orange, linguine
Serves: 3 Preparation: 20 minutes

This recipe evolved as a result of a twitter conversation. I was asked what kind of sauce I'd serve with a stilton-based meatball, creamy or tomatoey and I explained that stilton LOVES fruit. Whether cranberry, orange, apricot or ginger - the more tart the flavour, the better. So for me, the only solution would be a simple sauce of orange juice, zest and the rich warmth of tomato. I made these meatballs with lean turkey mince, all the better to balance the naughty addition of cheese!

1) Peel and slice half the onion and add to a blender. Pulse for a few seconds and then add the turkey mince and crumbled stilton.

2) Keep pulsing until the mixture is thoroughly combined - you will see it form a large ball in the blender when it is ready. Remove and form into meatballs.

3) Using a little splash of oil, fry off the meatballs in a hot pan for about a minute - tossing them to ensure they keep their shape and are evenly coloured. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and set aside.

4) Zest the orange and squeeze out the juice. Add the juice and zest to a pan with about 250g passata and warm through. Season and pour over the meatballs, then transfer to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

5) Boil the linguine in salted water for about 10 minutes and strain. Add the meatballs and sauce to the linguine and toss until the sauce has coated the pasta. Serve with black pepper and a sprinkle of basil or parsley.

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