So here we have my twist on Jamie Olivers’s second recipe ‘to save your life’ – a Classic Tomato Spaghetti. It’s tough to mess with a classic but the Naturopath in me is screaming ‘add protein and vegetables’ to make this simple staple, nutritionally complete!
So that’s exactly what I did and not only is this one nourishing meal, it’s also absolutely delicious and really very quick and simple to make. It can also be made ahead and reheated to serve.
Turkey is a vitamin and mineral rich source of protein. It is a rich source of tryptophan which is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, our feel-good hormone. It’s also a great source of vitamin B12, which makes it a great option for those who suffer from anxiety and mood disorders. I like to cook with it occasionally to add a little nutritional variety to my families diet. The assortment of vegetables included in the meatballs and sauce contributes lots of plant-based fibre and nutrition.
You can serve this dish the traditional way, with whole wheat or gluten-free spaghetti. Or for even more nutritional bang for your buck, serve it with zoodles (courgettes/zucchini spiralized) or quinoa. Whatever your preference, these are SO delicious!
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit many specific dietary requirements.
Turkey and Sage Spaghetti Meatballs
- 1 bunch/s fresh basil leaves
- 1 onion/s -finely diced
- 2 clove/s garlic -finely sliced
- 1 kg roma tomatoe/s (or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tbsp olive oil -extra virgin
Turkey and Sage Meatballs
- 1 rasher/s bacon - short cut, finely diced
- 1 red onion/s -finely diced
- 1 clove/s garlic -crushed
- 30 g baby spinach -finely chopped (1 cup approx.)
- 1 carrot/s (large) grated
- 500 g turkey mince
- 50 g almond meal (½ cup)
- 1 free-range or organic egg/s
- 2 tbsp fresh sage leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper -to taste
- 300 g spaghetti - I love quinoa and rice spaghetti
Start with the tomato sauce:
- Pick the basil leaves from the stalks, finely chop the stalks and set aside the basil leaves which you can also roughly chop or tear.
- Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic. I generally chop this in the Thermomix garlic 5 seconds, speed 5 then add the onion, 10 seconds speed 5. I then add this to a small pot (to make the sauce) and without washing the Thermomix, use the bowl to make the meatballs.
- Put a saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the onion and garlic. Cook for around 7 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden.
- If using fresh, cut the tomatoes in half, then roughly chop them or carefully open the tins of tomatoes.
- Stir in the basil stalks for a few minutes, then add the fresh or tinned tomatoes and the vinegar.
- Season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, then continue to simmer for around 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the basil leaves (reserving a few to garnish).
Prepare the meatballs:
- Prepare (chop or grate) your bacon, onion, garlic, spinach and carrot (by hand or in a food processor). Thermomix garlic first 5 seconds speed 5, then the onion, bacon, carrot and spinach, 20 seconds speed 4-5 (until chopped finely).
- Place in a large mixing bowl with the turkey mince, almond meal, egg, sage and seasoning. Thermomix add the mince, almond meal, egg, sage and seasoning and mix 30 seconds, on reverse speed 3 (you may need to scrape the sides to make sure the ingredients are evenly combined).
- Wash your hands well and squeeze the mixture to combine all of the meatball ingredients.
- Roll it into approx. golf ball sized meatballs and set aside until ready to cook.
- To cook, place a little olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs for about 5 minutes or until brown, turning to cook on both sides.
- Once the meatballs are almost cooked, pour over the tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked firm.
- With the reserved basil leaves and finely grated Parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy-free).
- With al dente whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, zoodles or quinoa.
- I also serve with a simple green salad.
- Re-heat in a pot over a low heat until just hot.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Can also be frozen (cooked meatballs in sauce). Or, you can freeze the meatballs prior to cooking.