30 Minute Italian Turkey & Pinenut Meatballs With Zughetti {GF & DF}

The weather forecast for today is going to be cloudy with a chance of meatballs. Yes I have another meatball recipe for you today with this Italian Turkey & Pinenut Meatballs with Zughetti. Anyone seen the movie Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs? No neither have I or if I have I can’t remember it exactly. I have a little secret to admit… I am a sucker for kid’s movies. Now that I have kids I don’t have an excuse to hide my sad little secret. Mind you J.D would certainly take advantage of watching as much TV as possible if I let him.

I was at the library the other day and saw Frozen sitting on the shelf along with Cars and the Gruffalo.  J.D was all for getting Cars and the Gruffalo out but needed a little convincing on Frozen. It went something like this “Oh look here is some DVD’s you might like bud”. “What’s that mummy?” he said as I pull out the DVD’s and show him Cars and Gruffalo. He is instantly drawn to the cover of Cars with its gleaming red race car on the front. “Oh what about this one too?” I say as I shove Frozen in front of his face. “This one looks really good too”. He gently pushes Frozen away with one hand, turns his back on me and continues to be enthralled with Cars. “Oh well I’ll just pop it in the bag for you to watch” (i.e. Mum to watch) I say loudly, my eyes darting around to anyone watching the exchange. As I write this it’s still sitting in the library bag as I can’t convince him to watch it. I even tried to force him to watch it one day. Sad I know. It was you can watch this DVD or go and play outside kind of arrangement. For my TV loving boy it was watch whatever was on TV that day. So I popped it into the DVD player and fumbled my way through the menu and eventually got it to play. Mum settled in on the couch for a bit of relax time and we got 5 minutes into the movie before J.D pipes up. “I don’t yike this mummy”. “It’s scarewee”. Admittedly the first bit was pretty dark and ominous so being the good parent I am I say, “It’s alright bud it’s only a movie, and it’s not real”. Parenting Fail. Not two minutes after I said that the DVD stopped and wouldn’t go any further. I discovered several deep scratches on the CD from too many little girls pawing at it desperate for Elsa to sing “Let it go”. I took this as a sign and with a sigh of regret I let J.D off the hook and popped Cars in for him to watch for the thousandth time. I gave up and went and made meatballs for dinner.

I had spaghetti on the menu this particular day and for the life of me I couldn’t stomach another plate of normal spaghetti. I blame my pregnancy with Little Miss for this.  So I changed up the protein from beef mince to turkey mince, made it into pinenut spiked meatballs.  I seemed to have meatballs on the brain over this past month as you can see with these Sweet & Sour Meatballs.I then whipped up this divine napoletana sauce to drench the oven baked meatballs in. Instead of plain spaghetti pasta I whipped out my vegetable spiralizer and made some healthy “Zughetti”. In lamens terms that is zucchini turned into spaghetti. Win for the thighs. I adore my spiralizer and use it all the time as an alternative to pasta. I reckon every kitchen should have one. I bought this type of spiralizer but there are heaps on the market at the moment. Pick one that fits your budget. Don't be afraid to use a different type of mince if turkey isn't your thing. Pork, beef or chicken would work in this recipe without any qualms.
I love these healthy and lighter kinds of dishes in winter that still have the essence of comfort food to them. Keeps your tummy warm and your derrière in check!

Italian Turkey & Pinenut Meatballs With Zughetti

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4

    Turkey Meatballs

    • 500g turkey mince
    • 1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
    • 1/4 cup almond meal
    • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 carrot, grated
    • 1 zucchini, grated
    • 1/2 onion, finely diced
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    Napoletana Sauce

    • 1/2 onion, finely diced
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes optional
    • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 400g tinned diced tomato
    • 750ml tomato passata
    • 2 bay leaves

    Turkey Meatballs
    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
    2. In a large bowl add the turkey mince, toasted pine nuts, almond meal, tomato paste, carrot, zucchini, egg, garlic, sage, salt & pepper and onion.
    3. With clean hands gently mix the ingredients together to combine.
    4. Form the meat mixture into golf ball sized meatballs and place onto the lined baking tray. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used up.
    5. Spray the meatballs with a little olive oil spray and pop into the oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile start on the sauce.

    Napoletana Sauce
    1. Heat a large fry pan over a medium heat and add in a good glug of olive oil. Add in the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. De glaze the pan with the white wine and add in the fresh herbs.
    2. Add in the tinned tomatoes, passata and bay leaf and bring the sauce to the boil. Add the lid onto the pan and turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked.
    3. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours into the sauce.
    4. Spiralize the zucchini into noodles. Add to a microwavable bowl and cook for 2 -3 minutes until warmed through. It doesn't have to been completely soft but cooked enough to keep it's shape.
    5. Serve the zughetti onto plates and top with meatballs and a good spoonful of sauce.
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