Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I have been making meatballs for as long as my children have been eating solid food. I first made them out of turkey mince, rather than my usual preferred beef mince, when I suddenly and uncharacteristically fell victim to the ethos of the age and it came upon me to pander to the low-fat brigade. Obviously, my sub-conscious knew better and directed me thuswards for a reason. It turns out that turkey makes for a light and succulent meatball, which my children love. All in all, this is quite a favourite in casa Lawson these days, and I can be found making a batch – half for tea and half to be frozen for future outings – regularly and pleasurably.

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It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Turkey Meatballs

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 Meatbals

Serving Size: 3 Meatbals

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (sweet or hot variety, to taste)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 400g/14oz turkey mince
  • ½ bunch fresh coriander, leaves only, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat half the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for five minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, for the salsa, combine the tomatoes, spring onions, avocado, lime and coriander in a bowl. Mix in half the chilli, taste and stir in more chilli if required. Add a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste with pepper, then set aside.
  3. Once the onion mixture has cooled, add the turkey and coriander and mix thoroughly. Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 16 golf-ball sized balls and then transfer to a baking tray and cover with cling film.
  4. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes; this will help the meatballs to firm and will stop them from falling apart during cooking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown on all sides. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  6. Transfer the meatballs to a clean baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving with the salsa, lime wedges and lettuce leaves.
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