Monday, July 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: Eating the Blog's Meatballs

When I was asked to guest blog on The Happiest Belly I was psyched! I only started my own blog recently, but have been reading blogs for awhile now and love them! So, I was honored to share a favorite recipe today. Hope you enjoy!

I have always been a sucker for Comfort Food and it seems like The Happiest Belly is as well so meatballs seemed like the perfect recipe to share. I think some people are slightly scared of making meatballs, but hopefully this recipe will show you how easy and delicious homemade meatballs can be! I love the classic dish of spaghetti and meatballs, but my husband prefers a meatball sub. You can use these meatballs for either and can even adjust the size if you prefer larger or smaller meatballs! This recipe is a compilation of multiple recipes that I have tried in the past.


1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. water

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

1 1/2 tbsp. finely chopped basil

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg white

1/4 cup cold water

1 tbsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 pound lean ground turkey (yes, turkey- healthier and you won't even notice!)

2 jars of your favorite red pasta sauce


In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the onion and 1 tbsp. water and cover, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft. Remove from heat and cool.

Once the onion is cool, combine the onion, garlic, parsley, basil, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and mix 30 seconds, until coarsely mixed. I use my Cuisinart Smart Stick for this. In a large mixing bowl whisk the egg white and 1/4 cup water with a wire whisk until well beaten. Add olive oil, salt, ground pepper, and nutmeg and continue whisking until well whisked. Add bread crumb mixture and combine with a spatula. Add the ground turkey and mix thoroughly. I use my hands for this step so that I don't over mix the mixture. You want the ingredients to be well distributed and the mixture to bind together tightly, but not over mixed.

Using a cookie scoop or your hands, scoop out meatballs and roll them about the size of a golf ball, or whatever size you'd like. Just be sure that meatballs are uniform in size. Meatballs should feel tight and solid. Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large nonstick pan to medium heat. Place the meatballs in the pan and brown all sides of the meatballs. This works easiest if you allow each side to get brown before turning the meatballs. Be careful not the break the meatballs when turning them. Once the meatballs are browned, reduce heat to low and pour in your sauce. Cover and simmer on low at least 20 minutes or longer to allow meatballs to become more flavorful. I sometimes cook these in the afternoon and turn the stove to a VERY LOW simmer and allow the meatballs to simmer for a few hours until we are ready for dinner. If sauce thickens too much, simply add about a ½ cup of white wine and bubble until it is absorbed.

Serve meatballs on top of spaghetti, on garlic bread as a sub sandwich or simply enjoy them on their own. Add more Parmesan cheese or even mozzarella cheese on top if you please.

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs, but they can be frozen and reheated very easily. Simply cool the meatballs and store in the freezer in a plastic container until you are ready to eat them. When you want to eat them, simply defrost them, add a little more sauce and reheat on the stove. It’s a great fast dinner on a work night! Hope you enjoy!
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