On a quest for the moist meatball… Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Basil Sauce
When it’s a cold winter day, what could be more comforting than a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs? Nothing! However, lots of carbs, calories and fat… let’s give this dish a nutritional makeover!
First let’s start with the pasta. I used Spelt Pasta. Spelt is an ancient grain that traces its heritage back long before many wheat hybrids. Many of its benefits come from the fact that it offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its more inbred cousins in the wheat family. It’s a wonderfully nutritious with a good helping of cholesterol-lowering fiber and iron. I just like the deep nut-like flavor it adds to the dish… yum!
Then comes the sauce. I introduced you a wonderful pasta sauce, Louise’s Sugo Pomodoro e Basilico from Louise Prete Fine Foods, in our Holiday issue. This is a rich hearty Tomato and Basil Sauce sauce made with imported Italian tomatoes, spicy basil, fresh onions and garlic. If you like your sauce to have chunks of fresh tomato and a little ‘kick’ this is the sauce for you. I really love the homemade taste and delicious fresh simmered aroma, a real winner! Not in Toronto? They ship!
Now the most important part – the meatballs. They have to be moist and flavorful. Sometimes I find when you fry or bake meatballs they can be dry, so I’ve found the best way to make perfect meatballs for a pasta sauce is – poaching. I know that sounds really wrong, but trust me you will not be disappointed, these are so moist and yummy, you’ll never go back!
Turkey Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Basil SauceEMAIL Recipe Share on Facebook
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 4 slices of bacon, just cooked and chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Salt & Pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 jar, 737g Louise's Sugo Pomodoro e Basilico (or any Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
- 500 g Spelt Pasta Spaghetti, cooked just to al dente
- Combine turkey, egg, bread crumbs, bacon (if using... it tastes so good!), cheese, Worcestershire, salt and pepper, Roll into 1.5" balls and place on wax paper sheets.
- In a saucepan, bring Tomato Sauce to a low simmer.
- In a large dutch oven, bring the chicken broth to a boil. In batches of 10 at a time, gently place the raw meatballs into the broth and return to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove the cooked meatballs from the broth and place in the Tomato Sauce. Repeat until all meatballs are cooked and in the tomato sauce, let simmer for a few minutes.
- Serve over pasta with shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Enjoy!
My grandson is allergic to eggs, do you think I could omit the egg in the turkey meatballs in spicy basil sauce recipe?
The intension of the egg and a starch (bread crumbs), is to make the mixture lighter, bind the mix together and extend it to make more meatballs. You can try omitting the egg and breadcrumbs. Substitute a slice of bread soaked in milk (squeeze out the milk), tear moist bread and add to meat mixture. Having said that, you can go ahead and make the meatballs without the egg and breadcrumbs. It would be fine.