Sandwich #244–“Play Ball” Turkey Meatballs with Ricotta Cheese

By 300 Sandwiches

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244turkmeatballLO3Opening Day at New York’s baseball fields should be a sure sign that spring has sprung.

But it’s still 37 degrees outside. Mutha @#$*&!!!!

The Mets home opener at Citi Field is today, and the Yankees play their first home game next week at Yankee Staudium. I love a good baseball game—I’m not a hardcore fan of either New York team, but I love the experience of going to the games. The crowds, the drinking outdoors, the singalong to “God Bless America.” And ballpark food. Soft pretzels. Beer and brats (I’m from Chicago, people).

E and I have only been to one baseball game together in three years, and that was in San Francisco, last summer when had that wedding in Sonoma. We’ll have to go to more local ones this year.

Meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda, who I met down in Miami for South Beach Wine and Food Festival in February, serves up a tasty steak sandwich at Citi Field during the games. This year, I heard he’s going to also pitch a meatball slider sandwich with fresh ricotta cheese. That got me in the mood to make my own meatballs.

Meatball sliders are perfect for a baseball game. Small, so you can eat with on hand and not have to put your beer down. They’re not too filling, so you still have room for Cracker Jacks or, um, another beer. And the ricotta? A refreshing cool alternative to melted mozzarella.

Now, don’t kill me, Pat, but I did my meatballs with ground turkey as opposed to your tasty beef. When E and I come to Citi Field, we’ll make sure to grab one of the real La Frieda beefy versions.

1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 onion chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg

1 jar marinara sauce
slider buns
ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all meatball ingredients above into a bowl. With bare hands, form into meatballs. Line up meatballs on a greased baking sheet or pan, and bake for 20 minutes or until brown.

In a large saucepan, warm marinara sauce. Add meatballs and simmer about 5 minutes. To make sandwich, spoon meatball and sauce onto slider bun. Top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. Press top of bun on top of meatball, and serve. Recipe yields about 20 meatballs.

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