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Turkey & Feta Meatballs

If you aren’t sick of turkey yet, give this meatball recipe a go. You could use chicken if you wanted – thigh meat works the best as the additional fat helps to keep them moist. To suit different dietary requirements, offer to serve them with a variety of options: courgetti, pasta, chickpea pasta (gluten free), or turn them moroccan with some additional spices apricots, and serve with a fruity couscous. Leave out the feta to make them dairy-free.
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Ingredients

The tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml of red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 big handful of fresh basil 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar / honey
  • Toasted pine nuts to serve

The meatballs

  • 1 lb of turkey mince
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 100g feta (leave this out if you want them dairy free)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 35g of panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

The tomato sauce

  1. Finely chop the garlic and onion and add to a deep saucepan or frying pan with the olive oil and cook on a low heat until translucent
  2. Once the garlic and onion are cooked through, add in your tomato puree and dried basil and fry for a further minute
  3. Now add in your red wine and continue to cook down for 2 minutes or until reduced, then add in your chopped tomatoes
  4. Season your sauce with salt, pepper and add in sugar to taste
  5. Leave this to simmer on a low heat and reduce while you make your meatballs, stirring occasionally – you may need to add a little water during this process if it gets too thick

I prefer a smoother sauce so I like to blend mine before serving.

The meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius 
  2. Line a large baking tray with bake proof paper and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, combine the turkey mince with the cumin seeds, crumbled feta and finely chopped garlic, followed by the breadcrumbs
  4. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and then add to the turkey mince, and combine until it starts to thicken and gloop together
  5. Roll the mixture into 15-20 even balls and place on the baking tray with small even spaces between them
  6. Pop these into the oven for roughly 20-25 minutes until slightly golden brown and cooked through
  7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and place into your sauce along with a handful of fresh basil leaves.
  8. Allow to simmer together for a further 5-10 minutes, while you prepare your pasta/courgetti and toast your pine nuts 
  9. If serving with courgetti, I like to lightly warm mine in a pan or blast in the microwave for 30 seconds – don’t cook it or it will go wet and soggy. If using pasta, cook to instructions
  10. Serve your meatballs with shaved parmesan, some toasted pine nuts and a few leaves of fresh basil
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