Turkey Meatballs In A Rich Tomato Sauce

A healthier way to enjoy a family favourite meal, these meatballs are made with with turkey mince and spiced with cumin, for a lighter but just as tasty alternative. If you want to cut corners, you can use a jar of passata but if you have the time, it’s always nice to make your own tomato sauce. Depending on how I’m feeling, I either serve these with courgetti or pasta.

Ingredients for the meatballs:
1 lb of turkey mince
1 tsp of cumin seeds
100g feta
2 garlic cloves
1 egg
35g of panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the tomato sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
200ml of red wine
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp of dried basil
1 big handful of fresh basil 
1/2 an onion
1 tbsp of tomato puree
1/2 tsp of sugar
Toasted pine nuts to serve

Method for the sauce:
I like to make my sauce first, so that it has time to reduce while I prepare the meatballs.

1. Finely chop the garlic and onion and add to a deep saucepan or frying pan with the olive oil and cook on a low heat until translucent
2. Once the garlic and onion are cooked through, add in your tomato puree and dried basil and fry for a further minute
3. Now add in your red wine and continue to cook down for 2 minutes until reduced, then add in your chopped tomatoes
4. Season your sauce with salt, pepper and add in sugar to taste
5. Leave this to simmer on a low heat and reduce while you make your meatballs, stirring occasionally – you may need to add a little water during this process if it gets too thick

I prefer a smoother sauce so I like to blend mine before serving.

Method for the meatballs:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Line a large baking tray with bake proof paper and set aside
3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey mince with the cumin seeds, crumbled feta and finely chopped garlic, followed by the breadcrumbs
4. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and then add to the turkey mince, and combine until it starts to thicken and gloop together
5. Roll the mixture into 15-20 even balls and place on the baking tray with small even spaces between them
6. Pop these into the oven for roughly 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown and cooked through
7. Once cooked take these out of the oven and place into your sauce along with a handful of fresh basil leaves. Allow to simmer together for a further 5-10 minutes, while you prepare your pasta/courgetti
8. If serving with courgetti, I like to lightly warm mine in a pan or blast in the microwave for 30 seconds – don’t cook it or it will go wet and soggy
9. Serve your meatballs with shaved parmesan, some toasted pine nuts and a little extra fresh basil

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