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Pasta with Turkey Meatballs and Bocconcini

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Dark-meat turkey yields more tender meatballs than turkey breast. Tossing the hot pasta with the meatballs and bocconcini melts the cheese a bit. Look for bocconcini -- bite-size morsels of fresh mozzarella -- at specialty food stores and Italian markets, as well as many supermarkets; they're usually packaged in water or whey for freshness.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, September 2007

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean, dark meat)
  • 1/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 1/2 pint bocconcini (about 20 balls)

Directions

  1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix to combine. Using a level 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 24).

  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water; simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute.

  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, return to pot, and place on the still-warm burner. Add bocconcini, meatballs and sauce, remaining 1/4 cup parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper, and toss until combined.

Reviews Add a comment

  • ALR3388031DW
    15 APR, 2016
    I have been making this for years! So good and so simple. I usually wait and add the mozzarella to each bowl when serving or else all the balls sink and melt into one blob! I have made this adding a splash of white wine to the cooking liquid and will throw in extra veggies if I have them, broccoli or sugar snap peas are very good in this. Or it's perfect as is!
    Reply
  • Lisa1129
    22 SEP, 2010
    This is my kids FAVORITE meal! And they are very picky eaters. Whenever I make this dish, there are never any leftovers. The only change I made is using basil instead of parsley. Very Yummy!
    Reply
  • marabou09
    7 APR, 2009
    So good, and so yummy! I can't wait to make this for guests. Next time, I might use chicken broth or white wine instead of water.
    Reply
  • scubajenn
    8 JUN, 2008
    My family LOVES this recipe. It's really easy to do. I often use pasta shells instead of the orechiette, since I usually have shells. I use a littel bit less water than called for and I don't put the tomatoes in until the end when I put everything together, because my husband doesn't like cooked tomatoes. DELICIOUS and very kid friendly.
    Reply
  • alexis0012
    11 MAR, 2008
    This is my boyfriend's new favorite recipe. It's pretty darn good as is. The only thing I would do differently next time is wait for the pasta and turkey balls to cool down before adding the bocconcini because they turn into slightly melted, very chewy little balls.
    Reply
  • dangelz3
    5 MAR, 2008
    what sauce ? theres no dirrections for it
    Reply
  • lulieliv
    25 FEB, 2008
    this is awesome. use mashed garlic cheese croutons for breadcrumbs.
    Reply