• 12 oz uncooked wagon wheel pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 1/4 lbs 97% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tblsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tblsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 jar of Carmella's sauce
  • 2 oz finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese

There’s something about a big bowl of pasta and meatballs with homemade sauce that just makes for a delicious meal. I’m big into homemade sauce, noodles, meatballs…you name it.  I typically will make large batches of pasta sauce to freeze so that I can just pull some out of the freezer whenever I’m making something with marinara.  Unfortunately my freezer has not been stocked with sauce all winter! And I’m not about to buy sauce from a jar…until now.

I paid a visit to a Milwaukee Italian staple recently called Glorioso’s.  It’s such a wonderful little market, especially if you’re looking for delicious Italian wines and cheese. I also like to go there when I’m looking for unique pasta shapes. On this particular visit there was a demo going on for Carmella’s Original Sauces.  They looked fresh and were very aromatic so I tried some…and then I wanted to try some more.  Again, I’m not typically sold on sauces from a jar but this was absolutely delicious!  The sauces come in marinara, arrabbiata and bolognese. My favorite is the arrabbiata. They are made with all natural ingredients and right here in Appleton, Wisconsin!

I needed something to pair this sauce up with, something a little bit healthier. I turned my favorite pasta and meatball dish into something healthy by making turkey meatballs! Be sure to read all the way through this post because you’ll have a chance to win a variety pack of Carmella’s sauces. (Giveaway is now closed.)

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions, omitting the fat and salt.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the breadcrumbs and the milk in a large bowl.  Add in the turkey, parsley, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, egg, oregano, fennel, garlic and salt & pepper.  Mix the turkey well with the spices.  Gently shape the mixture into 48 equal 1 inch meatballs.

Place half of the meatballs in a pan swirled with the remaining olive oil.  Cook 1-2 minutes on each side until brown. Remove the first half and repeat with the second half. Return all meatballs to the pan and then add in the water and scrape down any browned bits. Stir in the pasta sauce and continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Pour the sauce and meatballs over the pasta, tossing to equally coat and then sprinkle with the cheese. Mangia!

turkey meatballs

Carmella's Original Sauces

And now for the giveaway! (Giveaway is now closed!)

Mandatory entry: Visit the Carmella’s website and tell me in the comments below which flavor of their sauce you would like to try.

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The contest will close this Friday, January 18 at 11:59 pm EST. It is also only open to US residents.