To make life simple this week, we made two big recipes, one of which was a turkey meatball and marinara sauce pasta. We usually try to avoid having that much pasta, but this marinara sauce is so good it’s hard to resist. We made this on Monday and were still eating some of it for lunch on Thursday, so it certainly will last! We even had to make some shell pasta because we were running out of our noodles.
Both of the recipes (for the sauce and the meatballs) were from Budget Bytes and the large quantity of each really did make them wallet friendly!
Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 8)
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I accidentally only used one can and it still turned out wonderfully)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 yellow onion
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
chopped fresh basil to mix in whenever
Cut onion and mine garlic-put in slow cooker. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine, then place in bay leaves. Secure slow cooker lid and let sit on low heat for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, remove the lid, stir and add to the rest of your pasta dinner! We enjoyed this with the meatballs below and have previously enjoyed it with gnocchi.
Turkey Meatballs (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 6)
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp veggie oil (divided)
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 bunch fresh parsley
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 lg egg white
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
a squirt of sriracha
Dice the onion and mince the garlic-cook them in a small skillet with 1 tbsp veggie oil until they are transparent. While these are cooking, prep the rest of the meatballs. Put the ground turkey in a bowl. Rinse and chop the parsley and add to turkey along with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, egg white, worchestershire, sriracha, and about 20 cranks of black pepper. Once onions and garlic are ready, add them as well (after letting them cool for a few, as Will learned the hard way). Use your hands to mix the ingredients until homogenous.
Once the mixture is set, begin to form the mixture into meatball shapes, about a tbsp in size. Dip each meatball in a bowl of flour and coat all sides. Once you have done this to all the meatballs, prepare 2 tbsp of veggie oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (not smoking), add the meatballs in groups, browning them on each side by rotating them once they turn. When they are done, they should be a darker brown and have an outer crispiness.
Set on a plate with a paper towel to drain before cooking more meatballs. Once they are complete, mix with pasta and marinara sauce and enjoy! For two people, five meatballs a meal lasted us three dinners.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Turkey Meatballs