Growing Chefs! Ontario Turkey Pesto Meatballs
Turkey Pesto Meatballs
Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Measure out your pesto and bread crumbs.
Peel the carrot and use the large holed side of a box grater, grate.
Using your hand squish together the turkey, carrot, pesto and bread crumb.
Form the mixture into the size of little ping-pong balls.
Place a large pot of water on the stove and turn the heat onto high. Once the water has come to a rolling boil add salt. Don’t be shy with the salt! The water should be “salato come il mare”, or “salty like the sea”. Add the spaghetti noodles and cook to the package’s instructions. Once they are cooked, reserve a small amount of the water to the side and strain the rest. Toss the noodles in some oil to prevent them from sticking together.
While the pasta is cooking, place the frying pan over medium high heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the meatballs. There should be a loud sizzling sound, which is good! This means the meatballs will be nicely seared.
Cook the meatballs for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, then transfer them to the baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the centre reads 165°F.
While the meatballs are in the oven, add the diced peppers to the pan and until softened, about sauté5 – 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, and add the pasta sauce to the pan and heat until warmed through.
Once the meatballs are cooked, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir it into the sauce, this will help the sauce to stick to the noodles. Toss the noodles in the sauce, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, and plate the spaghetti. Top the pasta with the meatballs, and with the basil leaves and parmesan. garnish
Serve immediately and enjoy a healthy and flavourful twist on spaghetti and meatballs!
Making your own tomato sauce from scratch pays off, especially in the summer when tomatoes are ripe. In the winter, try using canned tomatoes for a richer tasting sauce.
From the Italian word “pestare,” meaning to “pound or crush,” pesto is a perfect way to use up a surplus of basil and other greens. Traditionally made with pine nuts, we substitute pumpkin seeds to keep it nut free.