Welcome to the very first recipe I’m posting from Ina Garten’s upcoming new cookbook, How Easy Is That? !  Be sure you check back in the next 2 weeks for two more very new and very fabulous Ina recipes in anticipation of my interview with her on August 19th (new date).

Or better yet…Follow Me @smellslikehome … or take a trip over to Smells Like Home’s Facebook page for all of the newest updates and fun chitchat.

So the verdict on these Spicy Turkey Meatballs?  We’re still raving about them now over a week since we made them.  Hands down, we loved them and Kyle (the one who worked as a cook at an Italian restaurant) said with full conviction that these were the best meatballs he’s ever had.  And to reveal something else, we made them will all ground turkey and without any ground pork.  To make up for the loss of the traditional ground pork flavor, I added about 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed.  This always seems to do the trick when trying to make the gobble taste like an oink.  The original recipe is below and if you’re wondering, yes, I have permission to post it.

We couldn’t have been happier with our first choice from How Easy Is That? and I’m thrilled to dig into the next one! My sincere thanks goes out to Ina and her cookbook publicist, Carrie Bachman for extending the opportunity to me to test run this book.  I hope to do these recipes justice!

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Spicy Turkey Meatballs
source: Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?

3 cups (1-inch diced) bread cubes from a round rustic bread, crusts removed
2/3 cup whole milk
2 lbs ground turkey (88% – 92% lean)
1/2 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp good olive oil plus, extra for brushing meatballs
2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
3 (24-oz) jars good marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
2 lbs dried spaghetti, such as De Cecco
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process until the bread is in medium crumbs.  Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and add the milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, prosciutto, bread mixture, Asiago, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.  Lightly combine the ingredients with your hands.  Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the eggs, and stir lightly with a fork to combine.

With your hands, lightly roll the mixture into 2-inch-round meatballs and place them on the prepared sheet pans. Brush the meatballs with olive oil.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the tops are browned and the centers are completely cooked.

Pour the marinara into a large, low pot, add the meatballs, and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the directions on the package.  Drain and place the spaghetti in individual bowls, and top with 3 meatballs and lots of sauce.  Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side.

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  • August 5, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Wow that is SO exciting that you are interviewing Ina!!! 😀 I can’t wait to read your interview, and also to check out her new book. This recipe looks wonderful, I recently bought some ground turkey and I thought about making meatballs but decided to go in another direction… maybe I should have made these instead? 🙂

  • August 5, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    I just love Ina. Can you ask her this–how does she feel about someone making their own birthday cake. Faux paux or great idea?

  • August 5, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Beautiful picture

  • August 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    I don’t eat beef and at best i’m usually disappointed with turkey meatballs…this recipe sounds so very very good!! I can’t wait to see your interview with Ina!

  • August 6, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    I’d ask Ina what her one overriding principle for successful entertaining, if she could please just narrow it to one, would be. I’d ask her the same question in regard to cooking and food… one overriding principle for success, from her point of view.

    Sounds like fun to sit with Ina. Her books are great; many of my old stand-by’s were inspired by them. And this meatball and spaghetti recipe makes me definitely want the new book!

  • Tracie
    August 11, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    I made these meatballs today. I used all ground turkey and they are delicious! I didn’t have any fennel seed but I think that would have made them even better. My gobble didn’t taste quite enough like oink!

    • smellslikehome
      August 12, 2010 at 11:45 PM

      So glad you liked them Tracie! Thanks for letting me know how they were!

  • […] Spicy Turkey Meatballs […]

  • November 2, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    […] Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti (Kyle’s favorite meatball recipe!) […]

  • LeeLee
    February 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    About the round rustic bread….can I just use an italian bread if I can’t find a “round rustic bread” and would I have to toast it first to get the proper crumbs? I assume a fresh loaf wouldn’t do to well in the processor?? Thank you, can’t wait to make these. I love Ina!

    • smellslikehome
      February 19, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      LeeLee: You can definitely use Italian bread – I’ve used ciabatta bread as well and a loaf of French bread would be ok too. Either toast the bread or let it get stale on the counter for a day or two before you put it in the food processor. I hope you love these meatballs as much as we do!!

  • Carol Boyd
    March 6, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Sounds delicious. I would like to know how many servings this recipe yields . Thank you.

    • smellslikehome
      March 7, 2011 at 5:56 AM

      Carol: This recipe yields 8 servings.

  • Adrienne
    June 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    I have the cookbook and I’m making them now. Beside the prosciutto it says “see note” but the only note I see is for the Asiago. Can you please tell me what the see note is?! I have every Barefoot Contessa cookbook and she has inspired me to be in the kitchen!! Thank you Ina and smells like home.

    • smellslikehome
      June 5, 2011 at 9:30 PM

      Adrienne: There is a note about the prosciutto in the left column of the first page of the recipe.

      • Jill S.
        January 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM

        Came across this post because of the question Adrienne asked… my cookbook actually does not have a note in the left column of the first page of the recipe. Maybe an error at the printer? I too have been trying to figure out what the note is for prosciutto! If anyone knows, could they share?!

        • January 22, 2012 at 4:15 PM

          Jill: The comment says to make sure you remove and discard the rind from the prosciutto before using it in the recipe.

  • mwhets
    March 31, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I made these meatballs tonight. Only exception is that I used ground turkey breast (with the sausage and olive oil I thought they would stay moist) and I had just a tab more prosciutto, so threw it in. They were fantastic! Loved the spicy kick of the red pepper. My husband said…”this may be the best meatball I ever had.” Thanks for posting!

    • April 1, 2012 at 6:30 AM

      mwhets: My husband had the same reaction! So glad you enjoyed them as much as we do!

  • Celia
    April 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Hi, I am making these meatballs right now. I’m sure they will be great. My question is what haircolor does Ina use? She has such healthy, beautifully colored hair( the darker color) that is. It’s so shiny! Thanks, Celia

  • Karla
    April 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Im a 36 yr old woman, who is just learning how to cook. My aunt gave me this book in April, 2011. I have made a lot of recipes, but I have to say, the meatball recipe is make favorite. My dad loves them, and since it is just us two in the house – we have a lot of leftovers to freeze! Having lunch with some that I made last week! My mom always said that she loved Ina’s recipes, and now that I have tried them myself, I couldnt agree more!!!!

  • Trish
    November 11, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    If I were to make this without any italian pork sausage or proscuitto what would you suggest as substitution?

    • November 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      We’ve made these meatballs with all turkey and they were still great. You might want to add a little olive oil to the mix before shaping them. I hope you love them as much as we do!

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