The Cooking Chronicles: Linguine with Turkey Meatballs and Quick Sauce

Big batches of pasta dinners seem to become particularly handy during a busy week, where leftovers are a saving grace. This Giada de Laurentiis recipe for linguine with turkey meatballs and quick sauce was one such wonder, and did not diminish in flavour too much in the fridge over a few days.

This was actually our first time making meatballs from scratch, and though I have an odd tendency to mistake naming turkey for lamb (I have no idea why), we did have ground turkey on hand to use. After I combined all of the ingredients for the meatballs, I delegated the shaping of them to Mack while I got started on the sauce.

Like most of Giada’s recipes, this one is just as straightforward, and really, is simply a more refined version of spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs were quite good – the pancetta made them pop. And though I’m much less prone to oversaucing pasta now than I have been in the past, the sauce was still a little thin for me. Perhaps the addition of more tomatoes would have helped somewhat.

Linguine with Turkey Meatballs and Quick Sauce

In spite of the sauce, I would make this again – I’d likely double the meatball portion and freeze the other half. Like the handiness of leftovers – maximum gain for minimum effort is the name of the game sometimes.

There’s a First Time for Everything: KitchenAid Pasta Maker

Last month, a marketing company promoting KitchenAid products contacted me to ask if I was interested in giving their Pasta Maker a try. Always up for experimentation, I said yes, and shortly after, received a large box with my name on it.

All smiles with my Pasta Kit

Mack laughed at me when I told him I expected a package tied up in a red bow with a label, “To: Sharon, Love: KitchenAid,” but it was a little like the Cooking Fairy had decided to pay me a visit. The Kit contained two stainless steel stand mixer attachments – a pasta roller and fettuccini pasta cutter – as well as a brush for cleaning and a slotted spoon and pasta server. Lastly, two boxes of Ecco La Pasta mixes were included to simplify initial attempts.

KitchenAid Pasta Kit


We started with the egg pasta dry mix, added water, and let the stand mixer do the work. Once the dough came together, I relied heavily on the manual, particularly because I needed as much guidance as possible, having never made pasta from scratch before. It wasn’t entirely clear to me how the lump of dough we now had in front of us should be divided to be fed into the pasta roller (better illustrations or pictures would have helped matters), but we eventually figured out that thicker clumps of dough yielded the desired yard of pasta that would eventually be cut into individual noodles.

Dough coming together

Mack working the pasta roller

Cutting the pasta into recognizable fettuccini noodles was the best part, gratifying the work we had done up until that point.

Go Mack go!

Making fettuccini

Finished noodles

I think we were surprised at how quickly everything came together. Even if we hadn’t used the pasta mix, it still wouldn’t have taken much longer, as the stand mixer does most of the grunt work. As with most store-bought products as well, we liked that the pasta maker would give us control over the ingredients used in the dough (I wonder how duck eggs would fare in pasta?).

We both acknowledged, however, that despite how straightforward it was, we likely wouldn’t put in the extra effort to make something that could easily be picked up at the store. That said, I’m eager to look for recipes that involve different colour or flavour additives to the pasta – something unique that would wow guests at a dinner party, or would somehow spice up a fairly mundane dish.

I’m looking forward to our future pasta experiments!

The Cooking Chronicles: Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

Needing a quick, one bowl supper idea, I remembered Rachael Ray’s Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, so after work, Mack and I headed to the nearby Italian Centre to pick up a few ingredients, and met with absolutely no dinner rush line ups, were well on our way to a filling meal.

Mack complained about having to grate the parmesan, but then again, that was probably the most “labour intensive” task in the entire recipe. I thought we were going to set off the smoke alarm with our sizzling tray of olive oil and burst cherry tomatoes, but thankfully, the flat stayed quiet. A handful of fresh basil (or what Mack refers to as “weeds”) some roasted mushrooms, and the parmesan finished the dish.

For a pasta without a heavy dressing of cream or tomato sauce, it was surprisingly good. More vegetables (spinach, zucchini) or meat (shredded chicken) could be tossed in, but in all, this is a great top drawer emergency dinner recipe.

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes