Italian Turkey Meatballs



Is there anything better than a meatball?? Meatballs remind me of my childhood. Like the moments when my parents would take us out to an Italian restaurant. You knew it was going to good when you saw the red and white checkered tablecloths, they always had the best meatballs. There is just something about a tender meatball, covered with rich marinara sauce and covered with grated parmesan cheese. Side note: My daughter was actually named "meatball" when she was in my belly, not weird at all.


My meatballs are a little lighter than usual, but do not skimp on flavor. They combine ground turkey, spinach, parm and a ton of seasonings to create a punch of flavor. Here's how they come together:


Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground turkey

  • 1/2 C seasoned breadcrumbs

  • 3/4 C grated parmesan cheese: divided into 1/2 C and 1/4 C

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or minced

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 eggs

  • salt and pepper

  • 1 C prepared marinara sauce; see below for my Roasted Veggies Tomato sauce, or use store bought.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a 9x13in baking dish with non-stick cooking spray

  2. Place all ingredients, except the sauce into a medium sized bowl and mix just until the ingredients come together. Over-mixing can result in tough meatballs.

  3. Roll 12 golf-ball sized meatballs and place in prepared baking dish.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes

  5. When complete, take pan out of the oven and add the marinara sauce directly to the pan. Give the pan a shake to disperse the sauce amongst the meatballs. Top with 1/4C grated parm and place under broiler until golden brown and bubbly, about 5 minutes.







Roasted Veggie Tomato Sauce



Cook Time: 1 hour


Ingredient

  • 1 summer squash, chopped

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

  • 4 mini-bell peppers, chopped

  • 1 whole shallot

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, shell on

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

  • salt and pepper

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp pesto

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400F

  2. Toss together squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, seasoning, salt and pepper and olive oil until well combined in a medium sized bowl.

  3. On a sheet pan, lined with parchment paper, place prepared veggies. Place shallot and garlic cloves on the pan, placing under the veggies to prevent burning.

  4. Roast all veggies for 25 minutes

  5. When complete, fish out the shallot and garlic and place the roasted veggies in a blender. Squeeze the shallot and garlic carefully out of their skins, also placing in a blender, alongside the roasted veg.

  6. Pulse 4-5 times, or to desired consistency

  7. Heat up a heavy bottomed pot and place roasted veggie mixture. Add the crushed tomatoes and a couple tbsp of pesto. Bring all to a boil, down to a simmer for about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Enjoy!


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