Category Archives: spaghetti

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

I took this amazing recipe from @theKitchn on Twitter.  I did not make the homemade tomato sauce on the recipe since I make big batches of my own marinara sauce to freeze.  I will one day do the whole recipe with the sauce listed.  My 6-year old son, my husband and I LOVE these meatballs.  I used store bought pesto and regular breadcrumbs, although I would use the panko next time (I thought I had some in my pantry).  I also shaped my meatballs larger since I served them over pasta for my family.  For the whole recipe please visit

1 pound ground turkey
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix the ground turkey, pesto, Parmesan, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until just combined.  Be careful not to over mix.  Wet your hands and form meatballs (about 1 inch) and place on non-stick baking sheets (or baking sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray).  Space meatballs evenly without crowding.

2.  Bake until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.  Turn using tongs and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until browned on the other side.  Remove from oven and gently place in pot with simmering sauce.    Be sure meatballs simmer in sauce until cooked through, about 10-20 minutes. 

3.  Serve meatballs in sauce with toothpicks while warm. 


Fieri’s Marinara Sauce

Amazing! I love the fresh basil in here. This recipe is taken from Guy Fieri’s cookbook “Food”.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
8 medium garlic cloves, crushed
Three 28-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen is recommended)
1/4 cup shredded basil
1 tablespoon chopped oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is almost brown, another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Add the basil and oregano, and simmer for 30 minutes more to thoroughly marry the flavours.
3. Purée the mixture with a stick blender, food mill, or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste. Freeze the extra sauce for the future.

Fieri Spaghetti and Meatballs

My husband said that these are the best meatballs he’s had. This recipe is taken from Guy Fieri’s cookbook “Food”. It makes 24 meatballs, to serve 8. I used ground pork instead of the sausage. I also used 1 tablespoon each of dried basil and dried oregano.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
1 cup 1/2-inch diced sourdough bread cubes (from about 2 slices, crusts removed)
1 pound ground beef(80% lean)
1 pound ground bulk pork sausage, unseasoned
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil (about 6 leaves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 to 6 cups Marinara sauce (recipe on blog – ” Fieri’s Marinara Sauce”)
2 pounds spaghetti
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the extra virgin oil. Cook the onion, bell pepper, and chili flakes for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and let cool. (Keep the pan handy).
2. Meanwhile, pour the milk over the bread and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain off the milk and lightly squeeze the bread, so that it is moist but not wet.
3. To the bowl with the cooled vegetables, add the beef and sausage, soaked bread, basil, oregano, pepper, parsley, grated Parmesan, and eggs. Mix thoroughly but gently and shape into 2-inch balls, the more gentle you are, the more tender the meatballs will be.
4. In the same pan used for the vegetables, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, browning each completely. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 165F on an instant-read thermometer.
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Bring the marinara sauce to a simmer over low heat.
6. Cook the spaghetti al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and toss with about 2 cups of the marinara sauce. You can either portion to individual plates or pasta bowls, add more sauce and 3 meatballs per person, and garnish with shredded Parmesan, or place the pasta in a large serving dish and top with sauce, meatballs and Parmesan.

Marinara Sauce

This recipe freezes very well.  I make a batch of it and separate it into Ziploc bags and store them in the freezer for our next spaghetti dinner.  I have used this for pizza sauce and I use it for my Chicken Parmesan recipe.This recipe is taken from Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes, by Giada De Laurentis.  If you have a food processor this sauce takes minutes to prepare.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 dried bay leaves

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add celery, carrots and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Saute until all vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer, uncovered, over low heat until sauce thickens, about 1 hour.  Remove and discard bay leaves. Season sauce with more salt and pepper to taste.  (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool, then cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm over medium heat before using).  Makes about 2 quarts (8 cups); 1 quart will serve 4 over cooked pasta as a first course.  NOTE: To freeze, after sauce is completely cool, pour 2-cup portions into freezer bags and freeze up to three months.