Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.


About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

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