Meatballs have always held a certain allure for me. It’s probably all due to that childhood song, “On Top of Spaghetti.” I remember singing rousing versions of that song in Kindergarten but having no idea what the song was about. As wondrous as a meatball tree was, what the heck was a meatball?
It wasn’t until I watched Lady and the Tramp that I figured out what meatballs were. We didn’t grow up eating spaghetti and meatballs. Dinner around my mom’s table was fried rice or noodles with roast pork rather than pasta. Of course, like everything that I didn’t have a chance to overdose on, I was intensely curious.
When I finally tasted meatballs I loved them: tender, ball shaped meat – what could be better? Since then, I’ve made countless meatballs, usually pork, chicken, beef or a combination.
These were my first turkey meatballs. The original recipe called for chicken, but I substituted turkey just because I was feeling a little turkey deprived with my not being in Canada for Canadian Thanksgiving. I usually pan-fry meatballs, but was pleasantly surprised by baking – it was fast and I didn’t miss the crust you get from pan-frying. They were extra delicious and I am excited about the bake-ability of meatballs. I think a new era of baked meatballs is about to be ushered in!
Turkey Parmesan Meatball Recipe adapted from Dinner a Love Story
- 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 cup panko
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- sliced fresh mozzarella to top
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, panko, onion, parsley, parmesan, garlic, fennel seeds, egg, salt and pepper. Shape into meatballs and space out on a foil-lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the crushed tomatoes with the oil. Brush on top of the meat balls and then bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the oven, spoon some tomatoes on each meatball and then cover with a slice of cheese. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Enjoy hot.