As much as I like turkey I’ve never been a fan of ground turkey because of its lack of flavor. I know it’s a healthier than ground beef, and I am trying to prepare meals that are better for us so when I saw this recipe in Ina’s new book, How Easy Is That? I decided to give ground turkey another try. Ina has never steered me wrong and her recipes quickly become mainstays in my kitchen. We loved this recipe and I know it’s one that will be requested over and over. Ina wrote that Mario Batali inspired the recipe and they are the best meatballs she has ever had! We quite agree.
These meatballs are baked instead of fried before they go into the sauce so dozens can be cooked in just minutes. Italian sausage, prosciutto and Asiago cheese add fabulous flavor. The recipe makes lots so I froze some on baking sheets and put them in freezer bags for future use. They will be delicious in soups and meatball subs. I usually make my own sauce but used Newman’s Own Marinara this time and loved it. The simmering meatballs add flavor to the sauce and I challenge anyone to tell the difference.
Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti…from How Easy It That? by Ina Garten
3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crust removed
2/3 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground turkey (85% to 92% lean)
1/2 pound sweet Italian pork sausage, casings removed
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing the meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 24-ounce jars good marinara sauce.
2 pounds spaghetti
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Place the bread in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process until the bread is in medium crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add milk. Set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, cheese, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt and 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper. Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands. Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs and stir lightly with a fork to combine.
With your hands lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch meatballs and place them on the prepared sheets. Brush meatballs with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked. I baked mine at 375 degrees convection for 20 minutes.
Heat the marinara sauce in a large, low pot, add the meatballs and simmer till heated. Place cooked spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with meatballs and grated Parmesan cheese.