A Healthier Meatball

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Who doesn't like a meatball?  This is a healthier version that uses lean ground turkey breast instead of the usual beef pork combo and spaghetti squash instead of pasta.   

For the sauce, I'm pretty flexible.  I just use whatever fresh herbs I have lying around and then supplement with dried ones.  For this I used fresh thyme, fresh savory and dried oregano which went well with the meatballs.   

Serves 4. 

Herbed Turkey Meatballs over Roasted Spaghetti Squash + Simple Tomato Sauce

2 spaghetti squashes  

olive oil

s + p

1 shallot, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

fresh thyme leaves, from 5 sprigs

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the sauce 

olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

fresh herbs and dried herbs

1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes 

s + p

Heat oven to 375.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds.  Lightly oil, salt and pepper squash halves.  Place cut side down on a large baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes or until done.  (A fork will easily pierce the skin and flesh.) 

Meanwhile, get the sauce going.  In a small pot, heat a splash of olive oil and saute onion until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs and chile flakes, cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and simmer, 20 - 30 minutes.  Finish with salt and pepper.  

While the sauce is simmering get the meatballs going.  In pan, heat a splash olive oil and saute shallot until clear and soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.  Add thyme, chile flakes, oregano and fennel seeds, cook 1 minute more.  Set aside.  

In a large bowl, combine milk, egg, and bread crumbs.  Add shallot mixture, turkey, grated cheese, salt and pepper.  Mix ingredients with clean hands until evenly distributed.  Form into 1 inch meatballs, there will be about 12.  

Heat a splash of oil in a pan on the stove and add meatballs.  Turn frequently to cook all sides, cooking for about 10 minutes until internal temperature of meatballs reads 165 degrees.    

OR

Sear/brown all sides of meatballs in skillet on the stove.  Place in 375 degree oven and bake for 8 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.  

Remove squash from oven when done.  Let sit until cool enough to handle.  Use a fork to scrape out flesh into serving bowls.  Discard skins.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with sauce and meatballs.