MOSTACCIOLI AND MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

MOSTACCIOLI AND MUSHROOM MEATBALLS

1 pound Mostaccioli, Penne, or other medium pasta shape, uncooked

MEATBALLS
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine
8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
8 ounces ground turkey
8 ounces extra lean ground beef
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (about 2 slices)
2 large egg whites
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, minced
OR
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
OR
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

SAUCE
1 recipe Basic Tomato Sauce, see recipe
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided

  1. In a large, non-stick skillet, warm the butter or margarine over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until very soft, about 6 minutes. Turn mushrooms onto a cutting board and chop again.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the mushrooms, ground turkey, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg whites, Asiago cheese, oregano, rosemary, salt and pepper. Knead the mixture together thoroughly with your hands. To prevent sticking, dip your hands into cool water before forming each meatball. Form mixture into 30 1-inch balls.

  3. Put the tomato sauce into a large, heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Warm 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add half the meatballs to the skillet and brown them on all sides. Spoon the meatballs into the tomato sauce. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil to the skillet and brown the rest of the meatballs, then add them to the sauce. Simmer, stirring, for 20 minutes.

  4. While sauce is simmering, prepare pasta according to package directions; drain.

  5. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Remove bay leaves from sauce; pour sauce over pasta and serve.