spicy turkey meatballs and spaghetti

My sister-in-law has inherited the most incredible sauce and meatball recipe from her Italian grandmother (J… if you’re reading this, I want that recipe). I don’t have an Italian grandmother, but I do have Ina. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the next best thing. While far from Italian, her meatballs are ah-maz-ing. And obviously since they are made with turkey they are zero calorie healthy healthier than the alternative.

{ spicy turkey meatballs } adapted from here*

  • 1 1/2 cups bread cubes from rustic bread, crusts removed (I used the Tuscan Round from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage (about 2 1/2 links)
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus extra for brushing the tops of the meatballs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 jars marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil – it’s my favorite store bought sauce)
  • dried spaghetti noodles

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the bread in the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and the egg, and stir with a fork to combine.

With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pan. Brush the meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked. Pour the marinara sauce in a large pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions on the. Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with meatballs and lots of sauce. Top with parmesan, serve and enjoy!

* I cut the original recipe in half and had plenty for leftovers. We used the leftovers to make meatballs subs. to. die. for.

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