Turkey Meatballs & Fregola Sarda with Kale & Sicilian Tomato Sauce

Turkey Meatballs & Fregola Sarda

with Kale & Sicilian Tomato Sauce

35 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

To accompany parmesan and garlic-seasoned turkey meatballs, we’re making a sauce inspired by the bright flavors of Sicily, using capers and golden raisins to elevate a simple tomato sauce with complementary briny and sweet notes.
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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Turkey Meatballs & Fregola Sarda with Kale & Sicilian Tomato Sauce
Title
  • 10 oz Ground Turkey
  • ⅔ cup Fregola Sarda Pasta
  • 1 8-Oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1½ Tbsps Golden Raisins
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. 

Cook the pasta
2 Cook the pasta

Place the pasta in a strainer and thoroughly rinse under cold water to remove any excess starch. Transfer to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the kale
3 Cook the kale

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta. Wipe out the pan. 

Form & brown the meatballs
4 Form & brown the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, half the parmesan, and remaining garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 10 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer. Loosely cover the pan with foil and cook, without stirring, 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned.

Make the sauce & finish the meatballs
5 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs

To the pan, add the raisins, capers, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

*An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

Add the mascarpone and a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and kale. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. 

2 Cook the pasta

Place the pasta in a strainer and thoroughly rinse under cold water to remove any excess starch. Transfer to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 7 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. 

Cook the pasta
Cook the kale
3 Cook the kale

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add half the chopped garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Add the vinegar (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/4 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Transfer to the pot of cooked pasta. Wipe out the pan. 

4 Form & brown the meatballs

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, half the parmesan, and remaining garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix until just combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 10 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the meatballs in an even layer. Loosely cover the pan with foil and cook, without stirring, 6 to 7 minutes, or until browned.

Form & brown the meatballs
Make the sauce & finish the meatballs
5 Make the sauce & finish the meatballs

To the pan, add the raisins, capers, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.* Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

*An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

Add the mascarpone and a drizzle of olive oil to the pot of cooked pasta and kale. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the finished meatballs and sauce. Garnish with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish