Making meatballs is a pretty traditional thing to do because you can make a big batch to enjoy with family and eat the leftovers for days. Meatballs remind me of Sunday dinner, sitting around the table catching up on each other’s lives and filling the time with laughter and perspective about the world around us. I think it’s important to have a place to express yourself, and to find comfort from those around you, and dinnertime has always been that place for me.
Meatballs are true comfort food and it’s the one meal I think I can eat repeatedly, I love them that much. I have a few meatball recipes here on my blog, but this one I make with ground turkey, and poach them in Vodka Sauce. If you aren’t familiar with this type of sauce, it’s basically a splash of vodka and cream added to tomato sauce to create a lightly sweetened pinkish colored bath for your meatballs to cook.
Vodka Sauce is super old-school and you may have a hard time finding it around in restaurants these days, so make your own right in your own kitchen. The alcohol mostly cooks out, and you are left with some of the tastiest sauce in town. Serve these balls over spaghetti squash, or pasta and create a meal your family will fall in love with and enjoy.
1 pound ground turkey, dark meat
1/2 red onion, minced
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup Vodka
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh herbs, if desired
salt & pepper
- Add all Meatball ingredients to a bowl and using your hands, gently press to combine.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic, place over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute and add crushed tomatoes, stir. Cook for 2 minutes and add tomato paste, stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir.
- Add vodka and cream and stir. Turn heat to low and form meatballs, placing them gently into sauce. Place lid over skillet and cook meatballs for 8 minutes. Using a rubber spatula (so you don’t tear them), turn meatballs over and poach on other side, about 7 minutes.
- Remove lid and ladle meatballs over squash or pasta. Sprinkle with herbs, if desired. Enjoy!