January 9, 2011

Winter In Tuscany

This warming winter stew simmers up quickly for a delicious dish any day of the week. Dried herbs are always a quick way to perk up any winter meal. We are lucky here in the PNW as we have World Spice Merchants for our dried herbs, sea salt & chile needs.

This meatball stew was inspired from my winter spent in Tuscany almost a decade ago now. Best served with a few slices of rustic crunchy bread! For those gluten-free folks try this lovely loaf.
Top with a few shavings of Parmesan. For those dairy-free folks, I think it's best just to leave out the cheese as I don't believe that there is any substitute for REAL cheese, sorry. This dish is just as satiating without it.

Turkey Meatballs with Tuscan Kale & Chickpeas
Serves 4

1/4 c + more if needed olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
5 T, Italian Seasoned Salt or a blend of dried rosemary, marjoram, sage, oregano, basil, thyme, parsley & sea salt, divided
1 & 1/2lbs ground turkey thigh meat
4 large garlic cloves, minced
28oz can of San Marzano whole stewed tomatoes, crush by hand or with kitchen shears
1 bunch of Tuscan Kale aka Dinosaur or Lacinato
2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1-15oz cooked chickpeas
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
garnish: freshly grated Parmesan & a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Warm a saute pan over medium heat, add oil and warm until shimmery. Add the red onion and cook until beginning to brown, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together 3 T of Italian Seasoned Salt or a mixture of your favorite Italian dried herbs and sea salt, ground turkey and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Create about 20 small meatballs and set aside.

Once the onions are just turning golden, add 2 T of the Italian Seasoned Salt, garlic and Aleppo Pepper. Add more oil if needed and cook until garlic is soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add the crushed stewed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cover, simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and chickpeas, season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and cook until the kale is wilted and the chickpeas are warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Garnish with Parmesan & Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Victoria, this looks so delicious (and I don't even eat turkey!) I may try a "vegefied" version at home. your blog is looking fab, by the way :)

  2. mmmm, this looks super yummy, my kind of comfort food! lacinato kale is my favorite variety.

  3. Thanks Becky! This dish is equally delicious without the meat, and you'll get plenty of protein from the kale & the chickpeas and of course a little Parmigiano!

  4. Hiya Cassie! Thanks for stopping by, yes lacinato is my go-to! Although I do love curly green for my raw kale salad which I will be posting soon on 'my gluten-free belly.'