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TURKEY PESTO MEATBALLS

If you read my blog, you will have read many a time that we do love meatballs of any kind in this household.  You could use ground chicken or ground beef in this recipe – we like to use ground turkey when we can get it.  It makes for a nice change, and is not quite as heavy as ground beef.  A simple easy meal, yet full of flavor.

You may also have seen this picture in a previous post:

This passata sauce is to die for – plain, natural, simple delicious ingredients – nothing more. A product of Italy.  Well recently, I found this:

Oh my goodness indeed!  All it is, is summer ripened, finely chopped tomatoes….seriously this is  summer in a can.  We are in the dead of winter in these neck of the woods – so these tomatoes were absolutely delightful!  If you can not find Mutti brands where you live, a nice basil tomato sauce, and chopped canned tomatoes will do in a pinch.

Meatballs:

1 lb. organic ground turkey

1/2 a small onion, diced

1/4 c. gluten free fine bread crumbs (or more if the mix is too moist)

1 large egg

3 big Tblsp. fresh pesto

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Pasta Sauce:

1 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive oil

1/2 an onion, diced

2 large finely minced garlic cloves

2 cups Basil Passata (strained tomatoes, or use basil tomato sauce)

14 oz can finely chopped tomatoes

1/2 tsp. dried fennel

1 rounded tsp. dried basil

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

finely grated Asiago cheese

1 package gluten free spaghetti – cook as per directions

For the pasta sauce, heat up a medium sized sauce pan on low medium heat with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Saute the onions and garlic to sweat out – about 5 minutes.  Add in the seasonings, basil passata sauce, and finely chopped tomatoes with their juice.  Season with salt and pepper, stir well, and keep on a low low simmer for 1/2 hr. stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mix up all of the ingredients for the meatballs, shape into nice sized balls and place onto a plate.  Refrigerate 20 – 30 minutes before cooking.  Heat up a frying pan on low/medium heat with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Brown the meatballs lightly on each side in batches – about 4 minutes per side. (they will finish cooking in the pasta sauce.)

Transfer the meatballs to the pasta sauce, and bring to a light simmer, lid on cracked.

Cook for 30 more minutes stirring occasionally, and in the meantime, cook up the spaghetti as per directions.  Serve the meatballs and sauce over the cooked spaghetti, and top with grated Asiago cheese.  Enjoy!

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