Giada's Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

We discovered that Samantha loves meatballs, and they’re a great way to get a few extra dark greens into her diet! Greg was inspired by Giada’s recipe for mini turkey meatballs and added spinach. We made a bunch extra to freeze, and now we can pull a few out here and there for her supper whenever we haven’t planned ahead. We decided to have ours with spaghetti. Here’s the recipe, which makes about 60 mini meatballs.

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

(inspired by Giada’s recipe)

1 large onion, grated

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg

1/4 cup panko

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 cup chopped spinach

1/2  cup grated Parmesan

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 pounds ground dark turkey meat

3 tablespoons olive oil

Tomato sauce (fresh, frozen or jarred)

Spaghetti, cooked to package directions

Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, spinach Parmesan, Pecorino, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into 1 1/4-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a large plate or baking sheet.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil.

After this, set aside any meatballs you’d like to have this evening. Place the rest on a sheet pan and freeze until solid, about 24 hours. For longterm storage (up to 3 months), transfer them to freezer bags. (Don’t forget to mark the date and contents!)

To the pan, add the marinara sauce, about 5 cups, and remaining meatballs. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Let the meatballs bubble away while you cook spaghetti a little less then the package directions call for so the  noodles will be al dente. Remove the meatballs from the pan. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, then place in bowls. Top with meatballs and garnish with cheese and parsley.

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