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Turkey Pesto Meatballs Marinara Sauce Mozzarella Arugula

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

A healthy alternative to a global favorite. The pesto can also be used for a nice bowl of pasta. Jovial gf pasta is my favorite.

Yields 20 meatballs - Serves 6

Turkey Balls

1 lb ground organic turkey

2 eggs

1 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper

1 container fresh mozzarella sliced thinly

2-3 tbsp. olive oil for frying

1 cup arugula for garnish

1 Against the grain gluten-free rolls (found in the freezer section)

Basil Pesto

1 cup fresh parmigiano, grated

1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted for 4-5 minutes

1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced


In a food processor, add basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, grated parmigiano, minced garlic, and pulse a few times. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the processor. Check consistency and add more olive oil if needed. You want to see a bit of the oil in the pesto. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, salt, pepper, eggs, and 1/2 the pesto mixture. Mix well with your clean hands until fully combined. Let sit for 30 minutes.

If turkey is cold it can sit on the counter at room temperature. With damp hands make small balls until all mixture is used.

Heat a large skillet at medium heat and add olive oil. Place one meatball in pan, if the pan sizzles, the pan is hot enough. Add the rest of the meatballs. You may have to do this in 2 batches. Be sure to brown the meatballs on both sides. With slotted spoon, remove cooked meatballs and place on a flat plate layered with paper towels.

Set aside.

Tomato Sauce (sauce can be made a day ahead)

14 oz. can organic whole peeled tomatoes

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. salt

1/2 white onion, chopped into small dice (optional)

In a medium/large skillet on low-medium heat add olive oil, onions, salt. Saute until translucent. Add in garlic and can of whole tomatoes to cook for a couple of minutes.

Once tomatoes cook down, smash tomatoes with a fork or potato masher. Continue to cook on low heat, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Place the meatballs into the sauce when it is cooked and has simmered nicely. Shake the pan back and forth to coat the meatballs a bit. Layer each meatball with the fresh mozzarella. Cover the pan and simmer until cheese has melted.

Cut the rolls in half, but be sure to not go all the way through with the knife. Heat a dry pan on medium and toast rolls lightly. On warmed plates, put the roll in the middle and lay three meatballs on each roll. Top with more pesto and sauce, then add arugula, fresh ground pepper, and serve warm.

Add a little sauce around the plate for dipping.



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