I’ve already shared my favorite comfort food (Peanut Noodles!), and I just learned that my uncle’s fave is, of all things, meatball pizza. You can take the boy out of Cleveland…
I haven’t perfected my meatball pizza recipe (though I bet it would be good grilled), but I love this one for baked turkey meatballs. They’re so moist and flavorful that you can forgo the pasta completely and bake them in a bed of our favorite tomato sauce. Just add a crispy romaine salad and you have a satisfying, healthy meal– no frying necessary.
I can’t claim that these are particularly Italian–they’re don’t taste anything like the veal/pork/beef meatballs we made as kids– but they have an addictive flavor all their own.
Mini Turkey Meatballs
Makes about 50 1-1/2 inch meatballs
1 small onion, grated*
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
4 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 pounds ground dark turkey meat
*Whether you grate your onion by hand or in the food processor, be sure to use all the liquid the onion releases in the meatball mixture. The onion juice ups the taste quotient and keeps these particular meatballs extra moist.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the onion, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup and parsley. Stir in the turkey meat until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands or a mini ice-cream scoop, make small meatballs, about 1-1/2-inches each. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Chill the uncooked meatballs in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. This step ensures that they’ll keep their round shape while baking.
Bake until lightly golden brown and cooked through, about 12-15 minutes. Repeat process with remaining meatball mixture. Enjoy hot or at room temp. I even like them cold.