I am a lover of meatballs. I gravitate to them in cookbooks. This recipe for mini turkey-herbed meatballs with butternut squash noodles got my attention. Comfort food (meatballs) lightened up with ground turkey, and lots of herbs served on butternut squash noodles instead of pasta. Finish the dish with a drizzle of citrusy tahini sauce and some fresh basil, and all I can say is meatball heaven! Oh, and the wine pairing, L’Ecole No. 41 2020 Luminesce, a white Bordeaux style blend.
Disclosure: This month in continued partnership with L’Ecole No. 41, I received a media sample of their 2020 Luminesce. All opinions are my own.
L’Ecole No. 41 Luminesce
L’Ecole’s first vintage of Luminesce was in 2007 and is the only white wine they produce from Walla Walla Valley.
The grapes were whole-clustered pressed and allowed to settle. Limited oxygen exposure enhances the wine’s aromatics. The juice was transferred to neutral French oak barrels for primary fermentation, followed by a 100% natural malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged sur lie for four months in tight-grained French oak barrels with lees stirring every two weeks. The wine was transferred to stainless steel tanks for finishing and lightly fined and filtered before bottling.
Bottling Date: May 21, 2021
Release Date: June 2021
Case Production 1,350
Source: L’Ecole No. 41
My Tasting Notes
2020 L’Ecole No. 41 Luminesce, Estate Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
14.5% abv | $22.00 SRP (sample) | 62% Semillon, 38% Sauvignon Blanc
Medium straw in color. Aromas of citrus, peach, and floral notes. On the palate, dry with medium body and medium(+) acidity. Flavors of lemon, marmalade, peach, beeswax, and savory notes. The wine starts with a velvety smooth mouthfeel and finishes with refreshing crisp acidity.
Food Pairing Notes
Luminesce’s medium weight and round texture drive this pairing, echoing the silky tahini and almost creamy butternut squash noddles. The wine’s savory notes match the herb and garlic notes in the meatballs. The acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc freshens the palate with each bite. Overall a lovely pairing with both the wine and dish in harmony, enhancing each other.
Mini Turkey-Herbed Meatballs with Butternut Squash Noodles
- 1 cup (loosely packed) Fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green onions, finely sliced and chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 1/2 cup sourdough bread, crust removed, torn into pieces and soaked in water
Butternut Squash Noodles
- 4 cups spiralized butternut squash noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 big clove garlic, crushed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
- water to thin sauce
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh basil leaves, torn
- kosher sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
For the Meatballs
- In a large shallow bowl, add the cilantro, mint, green onions, jalapeño, onion powder, ginger, lemon zest, and salt. Stir to combine. Squeeze the water out of the bread pieces and add to the bowl. Add the turkey and the egg. Gently mix and combine. Use your fingers like a pitchfork to combine the ingredients without over working the mixture.
- Lightly wet your hands with water and make mini meatballs about the size of a walnut. Place the meatballs on one of the baking sheets, evenly spaced. Bake for 12 minutes and then flip them and bake another 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cover with foil and keep warm.
For the Butternut Squash Noodles
- While the meatballs bake, scatter the butternut squash noodles on the other baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently toss the noodles to mix. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
For the Tahini Sauce
- In a medium shallow bowl, add the tahini, lemon juice,garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to combine and slowly add water to get a pourable sauce.
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