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Turkey Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Dad's Turkey Meatballs


3 Pounds Ground Turkey (leanness depends on my mood, but the more fat, the better folks say they taste)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)

1 Medium Red Onion (finely chopped)

1-2 Cups Grated Romano Cheese

1-2 Cups Seasoned Bread crumbs (I prefer Progresso)

Chicken Stock (enough to make the ingredients blend together into a workable emulsion


I cook the meatballs right in the tomato sauce.

So... after mixing the ingredients, I generally form the meatballs and set them aside as I form them so I can add them to the pot all at once (one-at-a-time).

Sometimes I make them small (golf ball size), and sometimes I make them big (1/2 the size of a baseball) - just depends on mood and time.


Grandma's Tomato Sauce Recipe


2 Cans Tomato Puree (use your favorite brand, I prefer the one in the green/yellow/red can; forget the name)

(When I have more time, I puree my own tomatoes or by whole canned tomatoes and puree them)

2 Cans Tomato Paste (Contadina, Italian Herb Seasoning)

Fresh Garlic (minced, crushed, or whole - depends on my mood; the more the better, I usually use about 15-20 cloves)

Fresh Basil (while leaf)

1 TBSP Sugar

2 TBS Salt

Olive Oil



Sautee the garlic in the olive oil until soft (don't brown it)

Add remaining ingredients except for the basil

Simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour

Add only enough water to keep the sauce from slurping and bubbling and popping (i.e. use enough water to smooth out the light boiling during simmering)

Add the Basil about 5 minutes before serving (or adding the turkey meatballs)


When cooking the meatballs in the sauce, bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and add the meatballs one-at-a-time.  If there isn't enough room in the pot to add the meatballs without squeezing them or layering them, allow the first ones to firm up a little bit (5 minutes) before moving them around to add the next ones since they are very soft and fragile.


Let the sauce and meatballs come back to a boil, then reduce the heat to low again, and let it all cook for at least 1-1/2 hours.


The turkey meatballs will expand and be nice and fluffy - so enjoyable.  Once they cool, they'll shrink down and not get back to their fluffy fullness ever again, even when reheating.

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