Why The Star Ingredient In Ina Garten's Turkey Meatballs Is ... Prosciutto?

Ina Garten attending event
Ina Garten attending event - Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Ground turkey is a great substitute for ground beef in all sorts of recipes, including meatballs. However, ground turkey can be a touch bland, especially when it comes to varieties that contain large portions of white meat, which lacks the flavor of darker cuts. In this case, Ina Garten comes to the rescue with a delicious addition to turkey meatballs that offers an amazing infusion of flavor. The domestic doyenne recommends adding prosciutto to the mix to create a more robust meaty flavor than would be possible with ground turkey alone.

Prosciutto is a type of cured ham that's been a staple of Italian cuisine for thousands of years. While the flavor of prosciutto varies according to how long it's been aged, you can expect a salty yet mildly sweet flavor profile bursting with savory goodness. This complex flavor is just the thing to elevate ground turkey, but prosciutto also offers another important benefit when it comes to the juiciness and texture of the dish.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Ground Turkey Often Requires A Bit Of Assistance

slice of prosciutto on a cutting board
slice of prosciutto on a cutting board - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Ground turkey lacks the fat content of beef, which impacts flavor as well as texture. Keep in mind that 7% is often considered a high fat percentage when it comes to ground turkey, whereas ground beef can have a fat content as high as 30%. This lack of fat means that ground turkey has a tendency to become dry when cooking, which is why you must monitor cook times carefully. Adding moisture-rich ingredients to ground turkey is also beneficial, as they can help offset the lower fat content.

Prosciutto is ideal, in this case, as it's considered a high fat food. A single ounce of prosciutto contains 3½ grams of fat, making it the perfect fix for the lower fat content of ground turkey. Garten also recommends adding sweet Italian sausage into the mix, which has a fat content totaling 51%. These tasty additions make up for the texture and flavor issues many people encounter when cooking ground turkey, which can be amended further by choosing the right preparation.

What To Serve With Prosciutto-Enhanced Turkey Meatballs

meatball appetizer with dipping sauce
meatball appetizer with dipping sauce - Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

One of the great things about this preparation is how versatile it is when it comes to accompaniments. Spaghetti and meatballs are a classic combination, perfect for a family dinner or a gathering among friends. In the event you're looking for a memorable appetizer, you can also serve these meatballs skewered with toothpicks. In this case, you may want to whip up a quick dipping sauce to go with the appetizer, such as creamy blue cheese or tangy buffalo sauce.

This dish also pairs beautifully with garlic bread, as the savory flavors will be a nice addition to the buttery, garlic flavor of the bread. You can either make your own meatball sandwich or simply place a few turkey meatballs atop the bread and sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the dish. With so many delicious options at your disposal, Ina Garten's inventive turkey meatballs are sure to become a beloved part of your culinary arsenal.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.