When visiting one of my best friends in Mill Valley, CA, she made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. It was one of her regular family meals. We all loved it. I had never made spaghetti and meatballs– I grew up always eating spaghetti with meat sauce. I now make this dish fairly often, it is a crowd pleaser. I just made it for my son’s birthday dinner– it is his favorite. This recipe is from Everyday Italian by Giada DeLaurentis. I use whole wheat spaghetti noodles, and Trader Joe’s Tuscano Marinara Sauce.
- 1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs, or panko
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 T whole milk
- 3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 cups Marinara Sauce (or 2- 28oz cans)(or 1- 28oz sauce & 1-14oz diced tomatoes)
- In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and the salt and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat. Shape the meat mixture into bite-sized balls.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving or turning the meatballs until brown on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the meatballs over and brown the other side, about 3 minutes longer. Continue to cook until all the sides are golden brown. Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the flavors blend, about 5 minutes. (The meatballs can be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.)
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Place the cooked pasta in the skillet with the remaining sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the pasta to a separate large serving bowl, and serve with the meatballs.
The meatballs can be made ahead of time and reheated with their sauce in a 250 degree oven for about 30 minutes. The recipe can also be used to make mini meatballs to serve as an appetizer.