The best spaghetti and meatball! Incorporating roasted eggplants was the best addition, not only in flavor but also texture. If you are trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet, this is one additional way and the kids wouldn't even suspect it. Give it a try and you will not be disappointed.
Total prep/cook 1.5 hours
*Turkey Meatball Ingredients*
1LB Ground Turkey
3 cups peeled/1/2 inch diced Eggplants
1 cup onion roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 cup parsley (roughly chopped)
4 sprigs Thyme (leaves only)
1/2 cup Asiago cheese(grated)
1/2 cup Bread crumbs
1tsp red pepper
5TBS olive oil
1)Position your rack in the center of the oven and turn your oven on to 450F (roast).
2)Gather all ingredients and start prepping.
3)Place the diced eggplants on a parchment lined tray then drizzle about 3TBS of olive oil and roast for 15-20mins at 450F. Roast until softened and slightly browned. Set aside to cool.
4) Turn oven down to 400F.
5)In a mini food processor blend onion, garlic and parsley. Set aside in a bowl(medium size) that you will eventually mix and incorporate all of the ingredients.
6)When the eggplant has cooled, place it in the food processor and blend. Now add it to the bowl with the onion mixture along with ground turkey and the rest of the ingredients mentioned above except the olive oil. Mix to combine.
7)Line a tray with parchment paper and start with either using a small scooper or your hands to shape the turkey balls and then place them on to the tray. When done, drizzle about 2TBS of olive oil on the meatballs and place it in the oven for 25-30 min at 400F.
8)While meatballs are cooking, get started on the sauce.
*Red Sauce Ingredients*
1 medium onion finely diced
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes/cut in half
4 sprigs of Thyme
1/2tsp red pepper flakes
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup water
4TBS olive oil
1) Gather and prep your ingredients.
2) Get your dutch oven heated over medium heat then add olive oil and diced onion. Cook a few minutes until translucent, then add garlic. Give it a good stir to combine, then add the tomatoes, thyme and red pepper flakes. Let it cook for 2-3 min or until the tomatoes have broken up a bit.
3)Now add your favorite pasta sauce and water and let it cook for 10 min with the lid on. Reduce the temp to a medium low.
4)By now the meatballs should have cooked sufficiently in the oven and can be added to the sauce. Carefully add them to the sauce and allow it to cook for another 20min with the lid on. This will not only develop the flavors further but also give the sauce a chance to reduce as well. Keep an eye on it and you may need to add more water if its reducing too quickly.
5) Adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve with pasta.
Note:I did not add salt to the ingredient list due to it being present in some pasta sauces, just adjust it to your liking.
Additional toppings to serve with: grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.