Spaghetti has long been a favourite family dinner idea, and it seems there are almost endless ways to prepare this timeless classic. Recipes run the gamut, from store-bought, jarred sauce over pasta to hearty meat versions that take hours to cook. For a fresh, easy take on this traditional meal, this recipe is one you're sure to love.
Spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and turkey meatballs
Serving size 4
3 pints cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/3 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1 large egg
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley
Fresh ground pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese and Italian parsley for garnish
The turkey meatballs
In a medium bowl, add the ground turkey, seasoned bread crumbs, ricotta, egg, Italian seasoning, 1/4 cup of parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Form 1- to 1-1/2-inch meatballs, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the meatballs in the oven at 400 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes (flipping halfway through) or until cooked through.
The sauce and pasta
In a large bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and pour onto a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt.
Bake the tomatoes in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 12 minutes or until softened.
In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-low.
Add the chopped shallots and garlic. Cook until tender.
Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water, and then follow the package instructions to cook enough spaghetti for four people.
While the pasta is cooking, scrape the tomatoes, oil and salt off the baking sheet and into the garlic mixture. Add the balsamic vinegar, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped basil, and remove from heat.
Drain the spaghetti, and add it to a large pasta bowl.
Add three turkey meatballs per person and then the sauce. Sprinkle with parsely and fresh grated Parmesan, to taste.
Not only is the cherry tomato sauce delicious, but it's also quite versatile and can be used whenever a tomato sauce is needed. Pour it over meatloaf, use it as a dipping sauce for crusty bread, or add it to sautéed spinach or zucchini for nice side dish. If you need a richer tomato flavour, you can easily modify this recipe by adding a spoon of tomato paste while cooking.