Sometimes you just HAVE to have some Italian goodness in your food repertoire! I was craving Italian (again) but didn’t want red meat. And I have my daughter and son-in-law staying with us temporarily so wanted a meal that would feed 4 adults comfortably. This meal fit the bill!
Turkey Meatballs with Marinara
(Adapted from Giada deLaurentis)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup milk
1 TBSP ketchup
1 TBSP tomato paste
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground dark turkey meat
1 lb spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 large onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tsp finely ground fennel seeds
2 tsp dried oregano
Two 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, basil, parsley, milk, ketchup, tomato paste, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic and onions.
Using a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Add the ground turkey and sausage meat. Using fingers, gently mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls (~ 22 to 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy nonstick baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing apart.
Drizzle with olive oil, and bake until cooked through, ~ 15 minutes.
For the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet with 2-inch-high sides over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, salt and pepper.
Cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the basil, the ground fennel, oregano and tomatoes and tomato paste.
Bring to a simmer.
Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if desired.
Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer until the meatballs are heated through, about 10 minutes.
Serve with grated Parmesan alongside.
Baked Cheesy Zucchini
4-6 medium sized zucchini
Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning (or use garlic powder)
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Slice zucchini into ½ inch rings. Place flat onto a large cookie sheet. Sprinkle with Johnny’s Garlic Seasoning and a bit of salt (or use Seasoned Salt). Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10-15 minutes or until crisp tender.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the zucchini with cheeses.
Turn the oven to broil, and place the cookie sheet back into the oven ,and let the cheese get all bubbly and a bit browned, about 3-4 minutes.