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Pasta with Turkey Pesto Meatballs

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Turkey Pesto Meatballs

After Vince Condella called for some frosty evenings later on in the week, I decided it was time to start pulling the plug on my basil plants. Last year I pushed the envelope and ended up losing my entire crop to frost, and I had to (*gasp*) BUY pesto all winter.  Not this year!  No sir’ee Bob.  I’m ON TOP of it! Yesterday afternoon I lugged out the old Cuisinart and whirled up a batch of homemade pesto.  I’ll probably try to crank out some more today too – maybe a batch a day until it’s all used up – or before the frost gets it, whichever comes first I guess.

(I’ll try to do a pest on the posto recipe — I mean, a POST on the PESTO recipe, if anyone’s interested. :-)  You do need to start out with quite a bit of basil tho’; what looks like a giant pile will process down to nothing!!)

Anyhoo, I haven’t made these meatballs in ages, and they are sooooooo good! You can definitely tell the pesto’s in there, but its flavor isn’t overwhelming.  The FamDam gobbled them up and went back for more – even No Thank You Boy had seconds, and that says A LOT!


Serves 6
Source epicurious.com

4 c. purchased chunky tomato sauce (Emeril’s Pasta Sauce is on sale this week, 9/29/10 – 10/5/10)
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey (Plainville Farms Antibiotic Free Ground Turkey is on sale this week, 9/29/10 – 10/5/10)
1 ½ c. fresh breadcrumbs (I used Sendik’s breadcrumbs from the bakery)
½ c. plus 1 T. pesto, stirred well
2 eggs
1 t. kosher salt

Cooked pasta for serving (Al Dente Pastas are on sale this week, 9/29/10 – 10/5/10)
Grated Parmesan for serving

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix turkey, breadcrumbs, pesto, eggs, and salt in a large bowl.  Using moistened hands, form mixture into 2 dozen meatballs.  Spray a rimmed cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray, and arrange the meatballs on the pan.  Bake for 20 minutes. ** see note **

Meanwhile, pour the sauce into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Transfer the oven-browned meatballs to the sauce and simmer until meatballs are fully cooked, about 20 minutes.  Serve atop the cooked pasta, passing the Parmesan at the table.

** NOTE ** I took out a dozen here; allowed them to cool, then transferred them to a Ziplock bag for the freezer.


Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

  • Anonymous

    We really enjoyed the flavor of the meatballs with the pesto! The boys gobbled them up.

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