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Turkey Meatballs with Vodka Sauce

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min
Let meatballs sit 5 min

Cook Time: 50 min

Servings: 4

Recipe By: Vanessa Maltin

From:  The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook
Used with permission of John Wiley & Sons

Other Main Dishes
Other Italian
Other Poultry

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Turkey Meatballs with Vodka Sauce

Meatballs are one of those foods you wouldn't expect to be made with gluten, but most restaurants use breadcrumbs to hold the balls together. This recipe substitutes potato starch and Parmesan cheese. Although rumors say there is gluten in vodka, the distillation process removes all traces of gluten protein, making it a safe ingredient for cooking -- and drinking!

1 package (1-pound) gluten-free pasta
1 pound ground turkey
3  large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup potato starch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1  recipe Vodka Sauce (below), heated
 freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Vodka sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups heavy cream (can use half-and-half or light cream)
1 can (8 ounces) peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/2 cup vodka
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey and eggs. Add the cheese, potato starch, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt. Mix together well.

Form the meat mixture into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the balls over and bake for 15 minutes more.

In a large bowl, slowly and gently fold the cooked meatballs into the Vodka Sauce. Let the meatballs sit for about 5 minutes before serving to absorb some of the sauce.

On a serving plate, ladle the meatballs and sauce onto the pasta and serve with additional cheese.

To make Vodka Sauce, in a medium saucepan heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring until the onions become translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in the cream, tomatoes, tomato sauce, vodka, and parsley. Bring sauce to simmer, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the sauce immediately over gluten-free pasta, or, once cooled, store in an airtight container. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can freeze the sauce for up to 3 months.

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