Turkey Meatballs in a Homemade Puttanesca Sauce

 Turkey Meatballs in a Homemade Puttanesca Sauce

By Sharon Feldman

This is a spin on Chef Curtis Stone’s recipe.

Serves: 6-8


Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-ounce can peeled tomatoes in puree with basil
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved, pitted
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper


  • 1-1/2 cups cubed crustless Italian or French bread
  • ½ pint of 1% low fat milk
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


To make the sauce: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with puree, olives, anchovies, capers, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Simmer sauce over medium-low heat until thickened, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes with milk. Set aside 5 minutes or until the bread is soggy. Using your hands, mash the bread mixture. Drain out the remaining milk.  Add the shallots, garlic, parsley, thyme, mustard, salt, paprika and egg and mix until well blended. Add the turkey and using your hands, gently mix together. The mixture will be soft to ensure tender meatballs. Form the mixture into large balls.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Working in batches (do not crowd the pan) add the meatballs, turning occasionally (approximately 12 minutes per batch), or until browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. When the sauce is ready, add the meatballs and simmer 5-10 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through, with no sign of pinkness.

Spoon the meatballs and tomato sauce into serving bowls. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve!

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