Is there anything more comforting than a giant bowl of pasta smothered in a homemade basil infused marinara and topped with giant turkey meatballs? This my friends ... is comfort food at it's finest. (According to this Italian girl anyway.)
These Italian Style Turkey Meatballs are amazing. Do not be freaked out by the fact that they have anchovy paste in them and by all means - do NOT leave it out. Anchovy paste is sold in a tube (think toothpaste style tube) and is available in most grocery stores these days. It adds so much extra flavor to these meatballs - you will be amazed. Trust me - do not be freaked out by the anchovy factor. Embrace it.
Italian Style Turkey Meatballs
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 ounce dried shitake mushrooms
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2/ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (85% lean)
3 garlic cloves, minces
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Microwave broth and mushrooms in covered bowl for 1 minute. Let sit 5 minutes. Drain mushrooms and reserve liquid. Totally forgot to take a picture of this step - sorry peeps.
Divide mixture into 16 portions. (1/4 cup each) Roll each portion into a ball. Place on a plate and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Transfer meatballs to platter.
Pour sauce over meatballs and serve with extra Parmesan - and spaghetti.
These turkey meatballs are NOT lacking in flavor or texture. The mushrooms, the saltiness of the anchovies, the spice of the red pepper flakes, the hint of garlic, the heartiness of the parmesan - it all works together to make a perfect turkey meatball.
Serve these meatballs with any pasta that you like. Our family favorite is traditional spaghetti.
If you end up with leftover meatballs, serve them on sub rolls or put them in your freezer for a second meal. Either way - you can never have too many of these turkey meatballs.
*Disclaimer: This recipe, just like many of my others, was inspired by my very favorite recipe source: America's Test Kitchen. I modified the original recipe slightly.
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