Mini Turkey Meatballs

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 42 mini meatballs
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

1 small onion, grated

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large egg

1/4 cup dried bread crumbs

3 tablespoons ketchup

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound ground dark turkey meat

3 tablespoons olive oil

26 ounces Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce

Simple Tomato Sauce: 

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 to 6 basil leaves

2 dried bay leaves

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

Directions

  1. Add the onion, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, parsley, 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the marinara sauce, about 3 cups. Return all the meatballs to the pan. 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. Transfer the meatball mixture to a serving bowl. Serve with toothpicks.

Simple Tomato Sauce: 

  1. In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors. 
  2. Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce. 
  3. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.
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