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Florentine Meatballs

Florentine Meatballs


  • 1 box frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted in the microwave

  • 1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast (1 package)

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 3/4 cups milk, divided

  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (3 handfuls)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (2 palmfuls)

  • Coarse salt and black pepper

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 sack shredded provolone or blend of Italian cheeses (10 ounces), available on the dairy aisle at the grocery store

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)

  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped, for garnish


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Wring the defrosted spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place the turkey in a bowl and make a well in the middle of it. Add the spinach, all but 3 tablespoons of the onion, the garlic, egg, about 1/4 cup of the milk, the breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into 12 large balls and drizzle with EVOO. Arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

While the meatballs are in the oven, heat a small saucepot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO and 2 tablespoons butter. Melt the butter, then add the remaining finely chopped onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 cup stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, then stir in the shredded provolone or blended Italian cheeses. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg and turn the heat to lowest setting.

Place three meatballs on dinner plates, top with sauce and garnish with parsley.