Turkey Meatball Caprese Pasta
May 14th, 2014
I’m always on the lookout for a simple and delicious pasta recipe. Mostly because I feel like it’s one of those meals that you can easily throw a bunch of ingredients together—without taking too much time—and it’ll still taste great. I’m taking mini-turkey meatballs and tossing them with pasta, bocconcini (fresh mozzarella), tomatoes and basil, and calling it a meal. A Turkey Meatball Caprese Pasta meal that is.
Here’s what we’ll need:
The first thing we’re going to do is make the turkey meatballs. Don’t let homemade meatballs scare you, though, they’re actually really easy to make.
The next step is to cook the meatballs and begin working on a light sauce for the pasta.
After the sauce has cooked and thickened, slightly, it’s time to assemble the pasta. Throw in the rest of the ingredients and toss to fully combine. It’s that easy!
Of course, if you want to finish off the dish at the end with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese right before serving, that’s okay. I’m all for extra cheese whenever possible.
This recipe is perfect for those weeknights when you’re too tired to cook a complicated meal after work. I also like that it doesn’t have a rich and heavy sauce because you don’t have to feel guilty for eating a bit of pasta and cheese. You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the meatballs altogether.
- 1 pound dried orecchiette or shells
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ¼ cup dried bread crumbs (plain)
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 container bocconcini
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook as directed on the box, until tender. Reserve about 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid. Drain the rest of the water and pasta and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix until evenly combined. Shape the meatballs into small rounds and place on a plate or baking sheet.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop in the butter and allow to melt. Cook the meatballs until brown on all sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and cook until it has reduced to half and the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another minute until the tomatoes slightly burst. Toss in the cooked pasta, bocconcini and fresh basil until evenly combined. Serve warm or at room temperature with a grating of fresh parmesan. Enjoy!