Chicken and turkey meatballs in a rich tomato sauce

I like to use chicken and turkey mince for meatballs as they make such juicy balls and are also low in fat. The texture is different to beef and the taste is great. A slightly healthier option.

The pesto holds the balls together, so need to use eggs.

The sauce is rich and the vine tomatoes make a sweet burst in your mouth.

  • 500g chicken/turkey mince mix, mashed up
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2  dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp red pesto
  • 1/2 cup of homemade bread crumbs
  • Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated and chopped finely
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. red pesto
  • 1 tbsp. tomato frito (you can use passata or omit this if you cannot find it)
  • 1 tsp. tomato puree
  • 20g fresh thyme and oregano, roughly chopped
  • 125ml port
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Season with salt and pepper the
  • Vine tomatoes x 2 strands
  • Linguine
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving
  • Mix the mince up with the meatball ingredients so it is well incorporated.
  • With wet hands make even meatballs, I used an ice cream scoop to get the same size. Set aside in the fridge, good to leave these for an hour or more if you have time.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and brown the balls in batches, removing them each time with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and the butter, add the onion and carrot and cook until soft but not browned.
  • Add the garlic, paprika, smoked paprika, red pesto, tomato Frito, tomato purée . Stir well.
  • Add the fresh thyme leaves and fresh oregano, then pour in the port. Cook until reduced in size by half.
  • Pour in the tin of tomatoes then add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, stir well breaking up the plum tomatoes a little. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the balls back in and stick in the oven on low for 20 mins, covered.
  • After 20 mins add the tomatoes on the vine pop back in oven uncovered for 10 mins.
  • Serve with linguine and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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