Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

I can't believe I have never posted this recipe!  I got it from Food Network Magazine a couple years ago and I LOVE it!  It was on the cover as one of their "lighter" options and it only takes 30-40 min to make!  I've updated the recipe a bit to fit my needs, and I always freeze half the meatballs for a quick meal any time.

1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. minced garlic
2 28 oz. can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 c. fresh basil leaves (or 2 T. dried)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
1/2 c. chopped parsley
2 slices stale whole wheat bread, crust trimmed, bread chopped
1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 egg white, lightly beaten
12 oz.whole wheat spaghetti

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add 3 T. garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, 1 c. water, 1/2 c. basil (or 1 T. dried), and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened.

2. Chop the remaining basil, then mix with the turkey, parsley, bread, ricotta, parmesan, egg white, minced garlic, 1/2 t. salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl or food processor.  Form into 8 large or 24 small meatballs.  (Note: At this point, I freeze half of the meatballs on a tray, then move them to a freezer bag once frozen.  You can make the sauce again any time and add the frozen meatballs directly to the sauce to cook.)  Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer, turning, until cooked through.  6 min. for small meatballs and 12 min for large (increase cooking time if using frozen meatballs).

3. Meanwhile, cook and drain the spaghetti.  Toss with some of the sauce, then divide among bowls.  Top the spaghetti with the meatballs, the remaining sauce, and more parsley and parmesan.

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