Homemade Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Ok so I have never attempted to make meatballs until last night.  I found in my freezer a package of ground turkey and I got the feeling it needed to be meatballs.  Ok so not really.  My husband did not want sausage, my original choice for the pasta dish I was making.  So what do I do, make my own meatballs instead.  The recipe is fairly simple and really didn’t take any time.  It is a Giada De Lauretiis recipe.  I altered it slightly to use what I had on hand.  The tomato sauce is just something I came up with and man is it good!  I have had some rocky times with making my own tomato sauce but last night I nailed it!  If your would like to make my turkey meatballs with tomato sauce…

Here’s what you need…

1 lb of ground turkey

1 large egg

1 small onion, grated ( I used a half since my husband is not an onion fan and they were still amazing)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup of dried bread crumbs

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 teaspoons of dried parsley (the original calls for 1/4 cup fresh chopped but I didn’t have any on hand), I just eyeballed it

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

olive oil

1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1 24 oz can of whole peeled plum tomatoes, squished

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic

white wine

dried parsley, oregano, basil


package of penne or other pasta you like

Here’s what you do…

In a large sauce pan, sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil (about a tablespoon) over medium heat until softened.  Add in a little salt and pepper.  Add a splash of white wine (about 1/4 cup or a little less) and let reduce for a couple of minutes. While that is reducing, smash the plum tomatoes in a large bowl.  I used my hands and made quick work of it.  You could use a spoon or potato masher is you wanted, but there is nothing like getting your hands in their and feeling the tomatoes explode as you squeeze them. It is a great stress reliever.  Add in both cans of tomatoes and stir.  Ok so the next come the spices.  I have to admit that I did not really measure anything.  I used the palm of my hand.  I tend to go on the light side first and taste to see what needs added.  The same with the salt and pepper.  My best guess is 1 tablespoon of the parsley and a 1/2 tablespoon of the oregano and basil.   I brought the sauce to a simmer and allowed it to cook as I worked on the meatballs.

For the meatballs:

In a large bowl, add the cheese, egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, ketchup, parsley, salt and pepper and ground turkey.  Working with your hands combine the ingredients.  Be careful not to over work your meat.  Once you have combined everything, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  While the oil is heating up, make the meatballs by using a teaspoon as your guide.  I made mine small to medium in size but you can make them any size you would like just make sure you adjust your cooking time for larger meatballs.  Brown the meatballs in the oil on all sides.  Remove to a plate and drain out the excess oil.  Add the sauce to the skillet and return the meatballs to the pan, tucking them into the sauce.  All the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with your favorite pasta.

This is sooo good.  I will be making this again and again!  I think every night should be pasta night!

Go and Create!



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