Buon giorno (Italian for Good Morning). Growing up I was extremely lucky to have parents that are great cooks. My mom spoiled us with many of her family Italian recipes, my favorite being her meat balls. It was and still is a comfort food for me, and is actually really easy to make. I’ve been using ground turkey at home, because of its leanness and tenderness. The key to the flavor is to let the meatballs cook in the sauce, absorbing all of its goodness. Buon appetito!
Picture courtesy of skinnytaste.com
Time- 30-35 minutes (depending on the thickness of your meatballs)
- 1 pound ground turkey (makes about 12 meatballs)
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, or 2 15 ounce cans (no salt added)
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons
- 1 package whole wheat pasta (or 1 spiraled zucchini for zoodles)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs or blended oats
- 1/2 red onion diced
- Preheat your oven for 350 degrees. Spray down a cooking sheet with cooking spray
- Put a small or medium sauce pan on a burner with medium heat. Add 1/3 cup olive oil.
- Wait a few minutes for the oil to heat up. Add diced onions and 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Let them heat up for about 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
- Add the cans of diced tomatoes to the sauce pan. Chop up the fresh basil into small pieces, add basil and oregano to sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to low heat.
- Add ground turkey, 1 tablespoon garlic, bread crumbs or blended oats (put 1/4 cup of oats in a blender and blend until smooth), 1 egg, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, basil, 2 tablespoons olive oil and any other spices you’d like to add
- Now the fun part. Make sure you wash your hands. Mix together the meat with your hands, and form 10-12 medium size meatballs. You can place mozzarella in the middle if you’d like!
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, and then place them in the sauce for the remaining 10-15 minutes.
- Boil a pot of water, add a few shakes of salt to the water, and boil pasta for 8-10 minutes. Before straining, save 1/3 cup of the pasta water and place into your sauce. The starch from the pasta remains in the water, so it gives your sauce extra flavor!
- When the pasta is done, place the cooked pasta in the red sauce, cook for an additional 2 minutes, and then serve.