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Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce Recipe

Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Prep Time 30min Cook Time 1h

Most kids love pasta, especially pasta that's topped with a mountain of meatballs and cheese. For this recipe, look for lean, but not extra-lean turkey meat to ensure moist meatballs, and enlist your older children to help shape them. Making sauce from scratch is really just about as easy as opening a jar and it tastes a whole lot better too. The messy smiles on the faces of your kids will be thanks enough for your small effort.

by Alison Needham

What you'll need

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated (for sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (for meatballs)
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated paremsan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/4 pound ground turkey, not extra lean
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions

How to make it

  1. Place olive oil in a large skillet and add garlic. Turn on heat to medium and cook garlic just until oil starts to simmer and garlic becomes lightly golden in color. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano and basil and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile make the meatballs. In a large bowl whisk the egg with the salt and pepper. Add milk, chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, grated cheese and parsley. Gently mix in the turkey, using your hands or a fork until all ingredients are incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. Form meat into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  3. In a second skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs quickly on all sides, in two or three batches if necessary. Add meatballs and any accumulated juices to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Serve over hot pasta, sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese.