Prep 45 mins
Cook 20 mins
America's Test Kitchen
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground turkey
- 1 (7 ounce) container basil pesto (2/3 cup)
- 2⁄3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- red pepper flakes, a pinch (to taste)
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Gently mix turkey, pesto, bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in bowl using hands until uniform.
- Roll mixture into eighteen 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
- Lay meatballs on large plate, cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Pulse 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until mostly smooth, about 12 pulses; set aside.
- Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until just smoking.
- Brown meatballs well on all sides, about 10 minutes; transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
- Add onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt to fat left in skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds.
- Stir in processed tomatoes and remaining 1 can diced tomatoes.
- Bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Return meatballs to skillet, cover, and simmer gently until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot.
- Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente.
- Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot.
- Add several large spoonfuls of tomato sauce (without meatballs) to pasta and toss to combine.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and add reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.
- Divide pasta among individual bowls.
- Top each bowl with remaining sauce and meatballs, sprinkle with basil, and serve.