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Turkey Meatballs Two Ways
© Lucy Schaeffer

Turkey Meatballs Two Ways

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 8 to 10

Ground turkey, panko (Japanese bread crumbs), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a few other ingredients make delicious, kid-friendly meatballs. To spice them up for grown-ups, Workman adds hot turkey sausage and crushed red pepper into the basic meatball mixture.

  1. 4 large eggs
  2. 3/4 cup whole milk
  3. 2 cups panko
  4. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  8. 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
  9. Kosher salt
  10. Freshly ground pepper
  11. 2 pounds ground turkey
  12. 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  13. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  14. Two 24-ounce jars tomato sauce
  15. 2 pounds dried pasta, such as rigatoni or mezzi rigatoni
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk. Stir in the panko, garlic, parsley, oregano, basil, 1 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the ground turkey and gently knead to combine.
  2. For Kids Form two-thirds of the meat mixture into thirty-two 1 1/2-inch meatballs and transfer to one of the baking sheets.

    For Adults Knead the sausage and red pepper into the remaining meat mixture and form into thirty-two 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Transfer to the second baking sheet.

  3. Brush the meatballs with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 40 minutes, shifting the pans halfway through baking, until the meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the remaining 5 cups of tomato sauce and cook until heated through, tossing well. Spoon the pasta into 2 large serving bowls; add the mild meatballs to one and the spicy meatballs to the other. Serve, passing additional cheese at the table.
Make Ahead The meatballs can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, ebullient Barbera d’Alba.

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