The sauce for these meatballs is a many-adapted version of a long lost recipe from a vegetable box. Over the years we’ve added extra veggies and souped up the amount of fennel, which really adds a nice dimension to an otherwise quite normal tomato sauce; just what you need with a relatively plain meat like turkey. There’s usually a big batch in the freezer to have with pasta, or to use as a sauce for green beans. The sugar really makes it sing, but leave it out if you prefer.
Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce Ingredients
- 500g turkey mince
- 1 courgette, grated
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 red chill, deseeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 100g spinach
- Olive oil for frying
- Black pepper for seasoning, and a little sugar (optional)
Turkey & Courgette Meatballs in Tomato & Fennel Sauce Method
- First, prepare the meatballs. Mix together the turkey mince and grated courgette, and season well. Get your hands in, and squish the mixture into walnut-sized balls.
- Heat a large pan with some olive oil, and lightly brown the meatballs in batches, removing to drain on some kitchen towel.
- Replenish the oil if you need to, then fry the onion on a low heat for a few minute until soft.
- Next add the celery, garlic, carrots and chilli, and continue to fry until they have started to soften.
- Throw in the fennel seeds and fry for a further few minutes before adding the tomatoes and seasoning.
- Give the pan a good stir, then put a lid on. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes to allow the flavour to intensify.
- At this stage you can use a hand blender to puree the sauce to hide any veggies. If you do this, add the spinach first and allow it to cook before blending; otherwise leave the sauce chunky and add the spinach at the end.
- Replace the meatballs in the sauce, ensuring they are covered and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through. Meanwhile, cook pasta, rice or noodles of your choice to serve.
- Makes 4 Portions