WEEKDAYS 1e|12c|p

Mario's Makeover: Spaghetti with Moist and Tender Turkey Meatballs

Mario Batali and Hellmann's
Servings: 8 to 10
2+ hr

Pasta with Meatballs

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Mario's Makeover: Spaghetti with Moist and Tender Turkey Meatballs
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 2 pounds Ground Turkey (dark meat if you can get it)
  • 2 large Eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil
  • 3 cups fresh Breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano (plus 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley (plus leaves for garnish; optional)
  • Several gratings of Nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon each Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
For the Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Onion (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Basil
  • 4 cups Basic Tomato Sauce
  • For the Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the turkey, eggs, Hellmann’s®, breadcrumbs, Pecorino, parsley, nutmeg, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix very gently with your hands. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • For the Sauce: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the meatballs into the oven and bake until just cooked thru 20 minutes. Meanwhile place the olive oil in a 6 qt pot over medium heat and add the onion, the garlic and the basil. Cook until soft and golden brown about 8 minutes then add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes, until the meatballs are ready.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and gently place them, one by one, into the sauce. (Lower the oven to 200 degrees F. ) Return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Then remove the meatballs gently to a platter and place into warming oven at 200 degrees F, and leave the sauce in the pot.
  • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Toss the pasta into the sauce that the meatballs simmered in and toss to coat over medium heat for 30 seconds. Use the pasta water if it seems to dry, but you don’t have to !!! Pour the pasta and the sauce into a warmed bowl and serve immediately with the meatballs on the side and the extra Pecorino to sprinkle over the top.
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