Shot Put-Sized Turkey Meatballs



1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. basil, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsp. pecorino cheese, grated
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. ketchup
3 Tbsp. yellow onion, minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper



1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. chili flakes
3 Tbsp. basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar, granulated
Kosher salt


  • Make the sauce first: Add oil, garlic, onion, chili flake, and bay leaf to 2 QT sauce pan. Season with salt. Cook until onions get soft.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and the chopped basil. Tip: If you don’t have a lot of time to cook, a nice tip is to add a little sugar to add from the natural acid from the tomatoes. Bring to a medium simmer and cover with lid. Let cook. The longer it simmers the better it tastes. Allow the flavors to come together!
  • Next, we’re going make the ‘shot put’ meatballs: chop basil, grate pecorino, and add egg yolk to the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Tip: We’re using turkey for less fat content.
  • Take a small amount, sauté it, taste for seasoning, and adjust. Tip: If you make a big batch of something it’s a good idea to test a small amount to see if you need to adjust the seasoning. Next, we’re going to roll a couple of Meatballs. We’re going to make these larger, to look more like a shot put.
  • First we’re going to sear the meatballs in olive oil on all sides.  Then we’re going to finish meatballs in the oven on about 350. Tip: Cook it on a lower temperature so it cooks all the way through and doesn’t burn.
  • Add chopped parsley to sauce while meatballs finish cooking in oven.
  • Now it’s time to plate! Meatball in the middle. Add a dollop of sauce on the plate first, then the meat ball. Bathe it in sauce. Use micro plane to shred pecorino over the top with chopped parsley.
  • Taste!