It is always nice to find a new twist on a kid favorite. These meatballs ae made with turkey, more healthful and lower in fat than meatballs made from pork or beef or lamb, and have a salty pop from the addition of crumbed feta cheese. Feta cheese varies a lot in its level of saltiness, and can come from countries such as Greece, Bulgaria, and France. Make sure to taste the feta, and then you’ll know how much salt to add to the turkey mixture (and keep in mind that many tomato sauces are salty, too, so you’ll want to make sure you have the right balance).
- 1 slice of plain bread
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey (not ultra lean)
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for serving, if desired
- 2 tablespoons finely minced scallions, white and green parts
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt, plus more for cooking the pasta
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups tomato sauce, jarred or homemade
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with sides with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly oil it.
2. Tear the bread into pieces and place them in a small bowl, pour the milk over, stir to combine, and let sit for 5 minutes until the bread has absorbed most of the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk and shred the bread into little pieces.
3. Place the meat in a large bowl. Add the soaked bread, eggs, feta, scallions, garlic, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to the meat, and use your hands to blend it well, but try not to squeeze the mixture too much as you blend it. Make nice round meatballs 1 ½-inches in size.
4. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart, and bake until almost cooked throughout, about 15 minutes. They should feel firm but have some give when you press them.
5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt, return to a boil and add the spaghetti. Cook according to package directions until al dente, then drain.
6. While the pasta and the meatballs are cooking, bring the tomato sauce to a simmer in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Add the partially cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer until they are fully cooked, about 10 more minutes.
7. Serve the pasta with the sauce and meatballs. Pass around extra feta on the side for sprinkling, if you like.
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