Joe Swash:  Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

Joe Swash: Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti Recipe

  1. List Of Ingredients
  3. 500g turkey (or chicken) mince
  4. 100g fresh breadcrumbs
  5. 2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp dried oregano
  7. 1 tbsp tomato purée
  8. 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  9. 1 egg
  10. Salt and black pepper
  12. 2 tbsp olive oil
  13. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  14. 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  15. 2 tsp dried oregano
  16. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  17. 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  18. 2 sprigs of basil, plus extra to garnish
  19. Sugar (optional)
  20. TO SERVE:
  21. 400g spaghetti or linguine
  22. Grated Parmesan cheese
  23. Garlic bread (optional)
    1. SERVES: 4


1. Start with the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat until the onion is very soft and translucent but don’t let it take on any colour. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

2. Stir in the oregano and cinnamon, then add the tomatoes. Swill out the tins with a little water (about 200ml in total) and add this to the pan. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the sprigs of basil and add the stems to the pan. They will add flavour as the sauce cooks.

3. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid and leave the sauce to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer the sauce until it has reduced the sauce by about a third. Taste and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. You may want to add a little sugar at this stage as well if the tomatoes are very acidic – start with just ½ teaspoon. Roughly tear the basil leaves and add them to the sauce. Fish out the stems and discard.

4. To make the meatballs, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Knead the mixture with your hands – messy, but necessary – until you feel the texture change. It will start to firm up a bit as you do so.

5. Divide the mixture into 20 balls. You can weigh them to make sure they are all about the same size if you like or use an ice-cream scoop as a measure. When shaping the balls, it helps to have wet hands as the mixture may be quite sticky.

6. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Line a baking tray with some baking paper and place the meatballs on it, evenly spaced. Bake them in the oven for 20 minutes until lightly browned, then carefully add them to the tomato sauce. Put the pan of sauce back on the heat and leave it to simmer for a few minutes.

7. While the meatballs and sauce are cooking, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add plenty of salt. Add the pasta and cook for about 10–12 minutes or until just al dente – cooked but still with a little bite to it.

8. Drain the pasta – not too thoroughly – and tip it back into the saucepan. Serve the pasta topped with the meatballs and sauce, garnished with torn basil leaves. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and season with some more black pepper.

Joe’s Tip: For a change, we like to eat this in a garlic bread sandwich – spaghetti and all! You won’t need as much spaghetti. Open out the garlic bread and squish down the insides so you create a hollow without losing all the garlicky goodness. Ladle a bit of the sauce on both sides, then fill the hollow with spaghetti. Slice the meatballs and add those to the spaghetti. Add plenty of basil leaves, grated Parmesan and black pepper.

Extracted from Joe’s Kitchen by Joe Swash, published by Pavilion Books