Turkey-balls and Tomato Sauce

Turkey meatballs

I created this recipe as an attempt to get some greens into my student brother. I’m sure if I had told him he was having courgettes for dinner he would have refused it. However I don’t think he even realised this wasn’t spaghetti, he polished off the whole plate.

It may look like there are a lot of ingredients in this list but most of them you probably already have in your store cupboard. The meatballs take minutes to prepare, as the blender does all the work for you! Try this recipe with other meat, chicken thighs work well too. For dinner parties this is perfect as all the prep can be done in advance and it looks great served on a  big sharing platter.

This really is comfort food…the healthy way. This should serve 3/4 people, I recommend using one courgette per person.


For the meatballs…

500g turkey meat
1 white onion
handful of fresh parsley
3 sprigs of rosemary
zest of a lemon
salt and pepper
(1 tsp zaatar – optional)

For the tomato sauce…

2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
3 anchovies
1 white onion
3 sprigs of rosemary
(1 tsp zaatar – optional)
4 large tomatoes
tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree

2/3 courgettes

What to do…

In a food processor blend the turkey meat until it comes together and there are no large pieces of meat left. You can also use a very sharp knife to finely chop the meat. Set aside, clean your food processor bowl, place the onion roughly chopped along with the herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper (and zaatar if using) in the bowl. Blend together until the onion is finely chopped.

Combine the turkey meat and the onion and herb mixture in a bowl, its best to use your hands to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed. Roll the mixture into golfball sized balls. This is about a tablespoon of the mixture per ball, place them on a clean plate. Once all the mixture has been rolled into balls, chill them in the fridge while you make the sauce.

In a large saucepan heat the oil with the anchovies on a medium/high heat. If you don’t like anchovies I recommend you add them anyway, you won’t be able to taste them but they really add depth to the sauce. Once the anchovies have started to dissolve add the onion, chopped finely, the zaatar if using and the rosemary (I leave it on the stalks so it is easy to remove at the end of the cooking…you don’t really want big rosemary stalks on your plate!). Fry the onion for 10 minutes, until it is softened but not browned.

Meanwhile wash and roughly chop the tomatoes. Add these to the frying pan once the onions have softened, along with the tin of tomatoes, a splash of red wine, the tomato puree and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Allow this mixture to simmer and thicken on a medium/low heat for half an hour. if after this time the sauce has become too thick just add a splash of hot water.

When the tomato sauce is nearly finished cooking place a second frying pan over a moderate heat and add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Remove the balls from the fridge, once the oil is hot add the balls to the pan. You may have to cook them in batches, you don’t want to overcrowd the pan as this will prevent the meatballs from cooking.

Once they are cooked all the way through, this will take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your balls, place the meatballs in the tomato sauce and leave on a low heat.

To serve use a spiralizer or peeler to make your courgettes into spaghetti. If using a peeler, make thin ribbons. You can serve the courgetti raw or warm it slightly to soften it in a pan with a little bit of oil.

When ready to serve place the courgetti on a plate and top with the tomato sauce and meatballs.

Tuck in.

tbc x

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