Spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is such a comfort food for me. I grew up in a very Italian family and this meal was a weekly staple in my house. Of course I can’t say this recipe is as good as my mom’s – but it’s damn close 🙂 . I do things a little different than my mom – and I’m sure some things are a little unconventional, but this recipe is a keeper.

Over the last year, I have gotten away from eating red meat. Traditional meatballs are made with a mixture of ground beef and pork (and they are soooo good!), but I needed a way to still be able to eat meatballs without using beef. That’s where the turkey came in. Personally, I feel that if you keep the other ingredients in the meatballs fairly traditional, you really can’t tell that there isn’t beef in them. And once they are covered in this amazing tomato sauce, forget about it! They are amazing. Of course if you are a meat eater, feel free to use the beef.

Anyways, I just spent the weekend with my sister and we made this meal at her house, but after raving about it to Mike once I got home, I had to make it again.



1 lb lean ground turkey
1 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 T. parsley, chopped
2 T basil, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 T ketchup (sorry mom)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour two tablespoons on olive oil onto a baking sheet and set aside.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except ground turkey and mix well. If this mixture seems a little dry, add a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Once the mixture is well combined, add in ground turkey. With your hands, gently mix breadcrumb mixture with turkey. Once combined, roll into balls and arrange on your baking sheet. I like mine on the smaller side, but any size works.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and place them in your tomato sauce to further cook.

Tomato Sauce

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup red wine (I used cabernet sauvignon)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
Salt/pepper to taste

In a large stock pot over medium heat, saute onions and carrots until just starting to soften. Pour in the red wine and let cook until wine has reduced by 3/4. Add in both cans on tomatoes and bring to a boil (this is where you can add the meatballs). Lower your heat to a simmer and let cook for 3-4 hours.

Once your sauce has cooked for a few hours, season with salt and pepper. This sauce can be used for pasta, pizza, tomato based soups…this sauce is good for anything.