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!
- 1lb lean ground turkey
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup dry bread crumbs
- 4 slices of bacon, just cooked and chopped (optional)
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ tsp Salt & Pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 jar (737g) Louise's Sugo Pomodoro e Basilico (or any Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
- 500g 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!