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Traditional Polpettine (meatballs) are made lighter by substituting lean ground turkey or chicken for the traditional beef, pork, & veal.  Here's a fresh (but still filling and hearty) take on the dish from our friends at VSOP Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom. It's just perfect for a grey winter day!

Ingredients: 
1⁄4 cup VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, any robust, high polyphenol varietal
1 small onion, diced 
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika, sweet or hot
pinch fine sea salt, to taste
pinch fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

5 quarts chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1 pound dried cannellini beans, or great northern beans, soaked overnight
1 medium bay leaf
2 heads escarole, torn into bite-size pieces

2 slices white bread, or whole grain bread
1⁄2 cup whole milk

2 pounds lean ground turkey or chicken
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
pinch fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

1⁄3 cup VSOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, any robust high polyphenol varietal
2 quarts fresh marinara sauce, or your favorite bottled variety


Method: 
In a heavy 8+ quart stock pot over medium heat saute the onions in the extra virgin olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and paprika (if using) saute for another minute. Season with sea salt & pepper. Add the stock, soaked beans (drained from soaking liquid), and bay leaf. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender, add the escarole during the last 10 minutes of cooking. While the beans are cooking, make the meatballs. Soak the bread in the milk. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground poultry, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Squeeze the soaked bread of excess milk and add to the bowl. Mix the contents thoroughly and portion out 1" diameter meatballs. (A small ice cream scoop works well.) Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches until golden, drain on some paper towels then place in marinara sauce in a large pan over medium-low heat to simmer gently. To serve this dish as pictured above. Ladle the beans onto a plate and top with a scoop of meatballs and sauce. Enjoy!

 


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