Turkey meatballs with pasta and fresh mozzarella

September 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

Our friend Melissa passed along this recipe to us.  As usual, we couldn’t resist “tweaking” it, this time to accommodate the low carb diet Dave is eating these days.  So, I added some cooked quinoa to the meatball mixture, and substituted low carb pasta.  This hearty meal is delicious and comes together very quickly, making it a nice weekday staple.  We served it with steamed broccoli, but sauteed asparagus as a side would also be good.

Melissa’s turkey meatballs with pasta and fresh mozzarella


1 egg, beaten,

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 pound ground turkey

3 – 4 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Olive oil

Sauce and pasta

Olive oil

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup water

3 cups dry pasta (ziti, orecchiette, or other pasta)(we used low-carb pasta)

Water for cooking the pasta

2 cloves minced garlic

2 cups (1 pint) grape tomatoes, cut into halves

8-ounce container Ciliegine mozzarella balls (fresh mozzarella cheese balls, packed in brine), drained

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine the beaten egg, 4 garlic cloves, Herbs de Provence, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, quinoa, turkey, and panko breadcrumbs.  Mix lightly together lightly with your hands until just combined.   Use a tablespoon to shape into meatballs about 1″ in diameter.  Brown the meatballs in olive oil, over medium high heat, in batches for 5-7 minutes.  The meatballs are very fragile, so use a heatsafe  silicone spatula to remove them carefully from the pan.   When all of the meatballs have browned, whisk the wine into the pan, scraping up the crispy meat bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the water.  Return the meatballs gently to the pan, and allow to cook on medium-low heat for about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water, according to package directions, to the al dente stage.  Drain the pasta and discard the cooking water.  Return pasta to its cooking pan, along with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, and the 2 cloves minced garlic.  Add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring gently, until the tomatoes are softened and wilted, about 1 minute.  Place into a serving dish, layering with the meatballs and the mozzarella balls.  Top with the 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, and the 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.  Serves 4-5.

I think this would also be good with a little sauteed spinach added to the pasta.  If you added the spinach, there’d be no need for a vegetable side dish, and you’d have an entire meal in one dish (my favorite).


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