The majority of my recipes serve two. This one serves an army. Ok, maybe not an army, but enough to feed our family of 4 and then freeze the rest for a complete second meal at a later date.
I love pasta. There is no question that it is my favorite food. Ever. The paleo diet puts quite the damper on my pasta habit, but the flavors of this sauce (or as the Italian in me must say, “gravy”… Since it has meat in it) are incredible. It’s almost enough to fool me into thinking I am eating spaghetti and meatballs! The meatballs can be served as is, over zucchini noodles, on spaghetti squash, or the good old fashioned way – on top of a mountain of spaghetti.
Given the summer heat, I have turned this into a crockpot recipe. It allows me to do the “cooking” during the cooler morning hours and not heat up the whole house in the evening. Don’t have a big enough crockpot (you will need a 6.5 quart one)? Feel free to make in a good old fashioned pot and allow it to simmer for at least 3 hours over low heat.
Serves a lot
1 large onion – chopped
3 cloves garlic – minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
3 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes in sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
1.25 lbs sweet turkey sausage
3 lbs. ground lean turkey
1/2 cup almond flour (or substitute bread crumbs for non-paleo)
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & pepper
1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper until fragrant – about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and wine while stirring. Allow to sauté for 5 more minutes while occasionally stirring.
2. Transfer onion mixture into crockpot. Roughly chop the tomatoes right in the can (I take a sharp knife and give them a few slices to make sure they are at least cut in half. Add tomatoes and sauce to crockpot. Stir in basil and oregano.
3. Remove the turkey sausage from its casing and brown in a large skillet over high heat for about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to the crockpot.
4. Using your hands, in a large bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, almond flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Make 1 inch meatballs and place to the side. You should get about 30.
5. In two large frying pans (or two batches in one),heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat. Brown all sides of the meatballs while carefully turning for about 10 minutes. The browned crust will allow them to stay together while cooking all day.
6. Transfer the meatballs to the crockpot and very carefully stir to coat them with sauce. Set the crockpot to low and allow to cook for 7-9 hours.