Harissa Turkey Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Fregola Sarda Pasta & Goat Cheese

Harissa Turkey Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

with Fregola Sarda Pasta & Goat Cheese

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

In this flavorful dish, harissa and za’atar-spiced meatballs and an aromatic tomato sauce come together with tender zucchini. It’s all served over a bed of fregola sarda—finished with briny olives, creamy goat cheese, and zesty lemon purée.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    580 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Harissa Turkey Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Fregola Sarda Pasta & Goat Cheese
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Ground Turkey
  • 1¼ cups Fregola Sarda Pasta
  • 1 8-Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 Zucchini
  • ½ lb Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Red Harissa Paste
  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz Castelvetrano Olives
  • 1 tsp Preserved Lemon Purée
  • 1 Tbsp Za'atar Seasoning (Ground Sumac, Sesame Seeds, Salt, Ground Thyme, Whole Dried Oregano & Crushed Aleppo Pepper)
  • 2 Tbsps Spreadable Goat Cheese
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. 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. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes. Pit and roughly chop the olives

Form & bake the meatballs:
2 Form & bake the meatballs:

Line a sheet pan with foil. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, harissa paste, and half the za’atar; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to the sheet pan and arrange in an even layer. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven. 

An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

Meanwhile, place the pasta in a strainer and thoroughly rinse under 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. Cover to keep warm. 

Cook the vegetables & make the sauce:
4 Cook the vegetables & make the sauce:

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), and 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the lemon purée, goat cheese, chopped olives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the baked meatballs and cooked vegetables and sauce. Garnish with as much of the remaining za’atar as you’d like (you may have extra). Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. 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. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Halve the tomatoes. Pit and roughly chop the olives

2 Form & bake the meatballs:

Line a sheet pan with foil. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, harissa paste, and half the za’atar; season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Shape the mixture into 16 tightly packed meatballs. Transfer to the sheet pan and arrange in an even layer. Bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.* Remove from the oven. 

An instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.

Form & bake the meatballs:
Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

Meanwhile, place the pasta in a strainer and thoroughly rinse under 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. Cover to keep warm. 

4 Cook the vegetables & make the sauce:

Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and halved tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), and 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Cook the vegetables & make the sauce:
Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the lemon purée, goat cheese, chopped olives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to thoroughly combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the baked meatballs and cooked vegetables and sauce. Garnish with as much of the remaining za’atar as you’d like (you may have extra). Enjoy!

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