Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Turkey Meatballs



I don´t know about you, but having a bowl of pasta with meatballs means comfort food to me. Pasta is a constant dish in Peruvian tables, served with myriad of sauces, vegetables and / or meats. We love this filling ingredient since the first Italians brought it to our country, and this love is always growing. Even in the Andes or in small villages in the Amazon, you can now find pasta as the main dish or as a side for any protein (or for more carbs).

Tomato sauce and meatballs is one of the most popular ways to have pasta at home. Through the years, I have tried every kind of recipe for meatballs: beef, chicken, pork, turkey, tofu, veal, and a mixture of different vegetables. Even though most of them are delicious, I´ve found this turkey recipe to be among my favorites.

A few days ago I was visiting my cousin Carolina, and she decided we should make meatballs for dinner. We had every ingredient we needed in the kitchen: ground turkey in the freezer; big, plump and juicy tomatoes from the garden; onions also from the garden; herbs and spices; and pasta in the pantry. In about an hour we had steaming bowls of pasta with the most delicious tomato sauce with turkey meatballs ready on the table. Everything made from scratch, as we Peruvians like it.

Pasta with Meatballs
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb ground turkey meat
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 slice bread, soaked in water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1½ lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb pasta
  1. Put the turkey meat in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, put the bread slice and cover with a little water. Rest until it is very soft. Discard the water and mash the bread. Reserve.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic until transparent. Transfer to the bowl with the turkey.
  4. Add the soaked bread, along with the mustard, egg, lemon rind, salt and parsley, and combine well. Form little balls, the size of walnuts.
  5. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the meatballs, turning every 3- 4 minutes. When they are golden brown transfer to a plate covered with kitchen paper.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sautée the garlic cloves, add the tomatoes, stir, and add the bay leaf. Put the lid on, lower the heat and simmer until the tomato forms a sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Cook the pasta in a saucepan with salted boiling water, according to the package directions. Drain.
  8. Put the pasta in 4 plates, top with the tomato sauce and a few meatballs.
  9. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.


  1. These meatballs are so good. My family loves them…kids included. They’ve become my “go to” turkey meatball recipe. I’ve made them quite a few times and finally decided I should say thank you for a good recipe. Thank you

  2. Looks delicious!!
    Going to make this dish in the upcoming days!!
    Thanks for the recipe.

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