One thing my picky husband loves is meatballs. He always gets the meatball footlong at Subway, he loves them on spaghetti, he likes them as appetizers…what can I say. He loves meat!
So when I saw this turkey meatball recipe in the Sprouted Kitchen Bowl & Spoon, I thought, hm. This could be a winner!
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp smoked salt or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 pieces whole grain bread, crust removed, or 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Chopped fresh parsley and basil, for garnish
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, milk, Parmesan, egg, and garlic and stir well to mix. Put the fennel seeds, oregano, red pepper flakes, and smoked salt in a pile on a cutting board and chop the spices to coarsely smash and grind up the fennel seeds. Add the spice mixture, pepper, onion, and parsley to the ricotta mixture and stir to combine. Rib the bread into small pieces and stir it into the ricotta mixture to saturate. Allow to sit for 10 minutes so the bread becomes moist, and then smash everything with the back of a fork to mix. Add the turkey meat and gently mix the meat into the wet mixture until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Cover and let the mixture rest for at least 30 minutes; this much can be done a day in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or large, ovenproof baking dish with olive oil. Roll the meat mixture onto 1 1/2 inch balls and place them in the prepared dish, 1 inch apart. Roast the meatballs for 15 minutes to brown the edges. Meanwhile, for the sauce, put the tomatoes in a bowl and crush them with your hands to make a sauce. Stir in the wine, melted butter, and salt.
Remove the meatballs from the oven and turn down the heat to 325 degrees. Pour the tomato mixture over the meatballs, cover the pan with foil, and return to the oven for 20-25 minutes to cook through.
Serve the warm meatballs with a good scoop of the sauce. Garnish each bowl generously with freshly grated Parmesan, parsley, and basil.
PICKY EATER TIP!: I completely blended up the tomatoes in my Cuisinart food processor. In fact, I made the entire sauce in there. Now there are no chunks!
The taste of these meatballs were delicious! The flavor was rich but not overwhelming. The recipe was pretty simple to put together, so no complaints there.
There is only one thing…these meatballs seemed to kind of…fall apart on me. I wonder if there was too much sauce on them? I’m not sure…all I know is you could just touch it with your fork and it would crumble. So…it was yummy, for sure…but we kind of ended up just mushing it into the sauce and eating it over spaghetti! They didn’t really stay in meatball form. Which is fine I guess, but it’s definitely different than classic meatballs!
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