WHEW these past few weeks have been crazy! On December 21st, Seth, Boone, and I road tripped it all the way from Georgia to New Mexico to spend Christmas with my side of the family (my brother is based there). So we spent ten days there before packing it up and driving alllll the way back. The drive actually wasn’t bad at all. And it was totally worth it because we got to meet our brand new niece, Elise — AKA the CUTEST BABY I’VE EVER SEEN.
For showing you that picture and making your day awesome.
Anyyyyyway, it was an amazing trip, but now we are back home and back to reality and back to working and blogging…which brings me to the meatball sub!
How do you make a “light” meatball sub you ask? By cutting the amount of bread in half, using whole wheat, and picking turkey instead of beef for the meat-a-balls (said in an Italian voice). But you won’t miss the beef or extra bread! I promise! These babies are just yummy.
So you start with one onion and two cloves of garlic.
And then you grate your onion and finely mince your garlic cloves.
In a medium bowl, add your ground turkey, grated onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, egg, and Panko.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Mix your meatball mixture together with your hands until it is all combined.
This next part is very important, and you could easily skip it to save a few minutes….but don’t.
Take a little portion of the meat, flatten it out into a small patty, and place it in your hot pan. Let the meat cook through (it should only take a minute or two) and taste it for seasoning. Add any extra salt and pepper that you think the meatballs need. This step is very important because if your meatballs are bland then your entire dish will be bland!
This is such an easy way to taste for seasoning.
So once your meat is perfectly seasoned, form your meatballs. Each meatball should be about two tablespoons worth of mixture.
Place the meatballs in your hot pan, and let them brown, turning them periodically. You may have to do this in batches depending on how large your pot is. You don’t want to crowd the meatballs or they will steam. Drizzle any extra olive oil into the pot as needed if it is looking dry. This shouldn’t take more than five minutes per batch. You aren’t trying to cook them through (that will happen later), just brown them.
Now for the sauce.
Add a little more olive oil to your pot and finely chop 1/2 an onion and 2 more cloves of garlic. Throw the onion into the pot and let it cook until it is lightly brown and softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic in and let this cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
Stir in your tomato paste with the onions and garlic, and let this brown for another minute.
Now add your can of crushed tomatoes and about 1/4-1/2 cup water. Stir together and scrape off all the bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Add in your salt, pepper, oregano, sugar, red pepper flakes, and thyme.
Mix together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add back in your meatballs.
Simmer the meatballs for 30 minutes.
When there is five or so minutes left, turn your broiler on high.
Cut the ends off a loaf of whole wheat french bread. Cut the loaf in half length-ways. Cut those halves in half so you have four slices of french bread. We are going to remove some of the bread so the meatballs have a little boat to sit in.
So you start with this:
Then pull out some of the inside with your hands.
So that you end with this:
Now place all four of these little slices on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, and place under the broiler. Watch them carefully!!!!!!! I burned mine………it can happen fast, people.
You just want to get a light toast on them. They will toast a little more when you pop them back under the broiler later to melt the cheese. So be careful!!
Now once your meatballs have been cooking for thirty minutes, remove them from the heat, remove the bread from the oven, and spoon the meatballs and a little extra sauce onto each piece of bread.
Now top with mozzarella cheese slices. At least two per sandwich…more if you want it extra chees-ay.
I had the “thin” slices so I used four instead of two per sandwich.
Now place the baking sheet back under the broiler and watch the cheese get melt-y and gooey and stringy and delicious. Don’t take your eyes off them, because the cheese melts super fast and can burn really easily.
Take them out and serve! You can top with parsley for some color and a little freshness if you want–totally optional. You will probably need a spatula for this part. I did. This is a knife and fork meal. And it rocks.
One more of this baby girl for the road…
AHH. It’s painful how cute she is.
Here is the recipe:
- For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 onion, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 egg
- ½ cup Panko
- For the sauce:
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 pinches red pepper flakes
- 2 pinches dried thyme
- 1 loaf of whole wheat french bread
- 8-16 slices mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine the all of the ingredients to make the meatballs
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
- Stir the meatball mixture together with your hands until everything is evenly combined
- Remove any big chunks of onion
- Take a small portion of the meat, flatten it into a small patty, and place it in the hot pan
- Let it cook through (it shouldn't take more than a few minutes)
- Taste the cooked meat for seasoning and add any salt and pepper you think the meatballs need
- Form the meatballs and place them in the hot pan
- Each meatball should be about two tablespoons of mixture
- Let the meatballs brown, turning as needed
- Add more olive oil as needed if the pot looks dry
- You may have to do this in batches depending on how large your pot is. You don't want to crowd your meatballs, or they will steam instead of brown
- Each batch shouldn't take more than five minutes if your pot is hot
- Once all your meatballs are browned, set them aside
- Add your onion into the pot with a little extra olive oil and cook until lightly brown and softened
- Add your garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly
- Stir in your tomato paste and brown for another minute
- Add in your can of crushed tomatoes and stir, scraping off the bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot
- Add the salt, pepper, oregano, sugar, red pepper, and thyme
- Stir together and taste for seasoning
- Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer
- Add the meatballs into the sauce and simmer for 30 minutes
- Turn your broiler on high
- Cut the ends off the bread and cut the loaf in half length-ways
- Cut those halves in half so you have four open faced slices of bread
- Using your fingers, pull out some of the insides of the bread so it forms a "boat" for the meatballs and sauce
- Place the bread on a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil
- Place under the broiler and let the bread toast lightly. Watch the bread carefully! It can burn quick
- Remove the bread from the oven once it is toasted
- When the meatballs are done, spoon them onto the bread with a little extra sauce and top with 2-4 slices of mozzarella cheese
- Place back under the broiler until the cheese melts
- Don't take your eyes off it, this happens super fast
- Remove from the oven and serve!
- Top with chopped parsley (optional)