Introduction: Moroccan Orecchiette With Cauliflower and Meatballs

I just love this kind of dinner. A cold winter night is the perfect time to turn on your oven and stove for a comforting but healthy pasta dish. Toothsome orecchiette (that's Italian for "little ears") are tossed with Moroccan-spiced turkey meatballs and turmeric-hued florets of cauliflower, and a quick dressing of garlic-infused olive oil, meyer lemon juice and freshly chopped parsley livens up the dish just before serving. The whole thing comes together in about 45 minutes, making this an easy, one-bowl meal.

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized green cauliflower
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. turmuric
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/2 C. bread crumbs
1 jumbo egg
juice of 1/2 meyer lemon
2 Tbsp. chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tsp. ras el hanout
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. crushed aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes)

1/2 lb. orecchiette pasta

juice of 1/2 meyer lemon
2 Tbsp. Garlic Gold Oil
2 Tbsp. chopped flatleaf parsley

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place a large (5-quart) pot of water on the stove over high heat.

Step 2:

Slice cauliflower into florets and place on one of the baking sheets. Sprinkle with olive oil, turmuric, salt and pepper, and toss to coat evenly.

Step 3:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, lemon juice, parsley and seasonings. Stir until evenly combined, then roll into 1” meatballs. Place meatballs on the remaining lined baking sheet.

Step 4:

Place the baking sheet with the cauliflower in the oven for 30 minutes.

After the first 10 minutes of cooking, place the baking sheet of meatballs in the oven (they will cook for 20 minutes, and be finished at the same time as the cauliflower).

Step 5:

After you place the meatballs in the oven, season the pot of boiling water liberally with salt, then add the orecchiette pasta and let cook for 12 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Step 6:

In a large serving bowl, combine cooked pasta, meatballs, and cauliflower. Toss with remaining meyer lemon juice, Garlic Gold Oil, and chopped parsley.

Step 7:

Garnish with parsley (optional) and serve. 

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