I LOVE pasta with marinara sauce. Pasta in general may be my favorite thing to eat, and as luck would have it, I have a boyfriend who likes to make me homemade pasta. He has become quite proficient at it and will post his process on the blog at some point. For this dinner he made some homemade linguine. I have sent this dish over to Ruth at Once Upon Feast, who is not only this week’s host but the creator of Presto Pasta Nights. Visit Once Upon Feast on Friday to see the round up of all the creative pasta dishes submitted from around the world.

These meatballs, as I am sure you guessed by the title, are turkey meatballs. This is yet another solid recipe from Ellie Kreiger. It is chock full of spices and vegetables that give the turkey much needed flavor. I have made them for a lot of my family and friends and they always get the thumbs up. That is unless you are an unnamed family member who says that “not everyone likes turkey meatballs” after you make a double batch of meatballs and marinara sauce for the entire family on vacation at the beach and proceeds to whip out a jar of Ragu and a bag of frozen store bought meatballs. It happened.

Follow up:

Anyway, you can find Ellie’s recipe here. Her recipe includes a quick tomato sauce, which I have never made. We ate this with some homemade marinara sauce that is a freezer staple for me. As far as ingredients go, I don’t really deviate from her list too much. Instead of fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs I just use whatever type of regular store bought breadcrumbs I have on hand. Also, clearly we did not use whole wheat spaghetti. I never got into the whole wheat pasta thing. I will do brown rice, but I need my pasta to be lily white. Lastly, I double the amount of garlic, just a personal preference.

However, I have developed my own process for cooking. This process yields you a nice crunchy meatball that you may even be able to pass off as a pan fried meatball.

  • Preheat the broiler on high.
  • I make the balls smaller than Ellie suggests. I get about 16-18 meatballs per approximate 1 pound of ground turkey. You can see my size in the picture. I like these smaller meatballs because they will cook quicker and will brown more fully and evenly in the oven.
  • Spray a broiler pan with nonstick canola spray and place the formed meatballs on the grates.
  • When ready to put the meatballs in the oven turn the broiler down to low. Cook them in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, then turn the broiler on high and move them to the top for about 5-7 minutes to get crispy and browned on the outside. This ensures that they are cooked through but not burned on the outside.
  • You should really watch them once they go under the high broiler, they can burn fast. However, getting them to be crispy on the outside on both the top and bottom (thanks to the broiler pan and its grill marks) is important. This texture gives the feeling of a more luxurious fried meatball without the extra fat.