A wonderful mix of spices and herbs give these turkey balls plenty of depth, while the turkey meat ensures they’re incredibly lean and healthy. Though oven-baked, they’re finished off in the pan to ensure a lovely golden crust.
Makes 24 meatballs
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) minced (ground) turkey
21/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for frying
100 g (31/2 oz) red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 small handful oregano, leaves picked and chopped
1 small handful basil, leaves picked and chopped
1 teaspoon chilli flakes, add more or less depending on preference
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
100 g (31/2 oz) chunky italian Red sauce (p 157)
90 g (31/4 oz/3/4 cup) dry breadcrumbs
50 g (13/4 oz) finely grated parmesan cheese
olive oil spray, for baking
In a mixing bowl, season the turkey with salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine. Using your hands, gently roll the mixture into 60 g (21/? oz) balls.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F) and add a small ovenproof saucer of water to the back of the oven to create humidity.
Spray a baking tray with olive oil and carefully place the balls in the tray. Bake in the humid oven for around 8–10 minutes.
Heat up a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan. Finish the meatballs by searing them in the hot pan for a few minutes to give them some colour and to ensure they’re cooked all the way through.
A super easy one-pot wonder, this flavour-packed pumpkin dish is the perfect accompaniment to most meatball recipes.
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pumpkin (winter squash), cut into chunks
6 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
12 sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
50 g (1¾ oz/1/3 cup) pine nuts
50 g (1¾ oz/1/3 cup) currants
1 teaspoon mild paprika
30 g (1 oz) butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
60 g (2¼ oz) pecorino cheese
30 g (1 oz/1 small bunch) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked and chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
On a baking tray, combine the pumpkin with the rosemary, sage, nutmeg, pine nuts, currants, paprika, butter, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil. Cook in the oven for at least 30 minutes, turning the pumpkin over at least once during the cooking process and ensuring the pine nuts do not burn. Remove from the oven and finely grate the pecorino cheese over the top, then sprinkle with chopped parsley for freshness.
Recipe and images from Meatballs: The Ultimate Guide by Matteo Bruno, published by Murdoch Books, $35. Buy the book here.
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