Recipe for Rustic Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

Rustic Tomato Sauce and Turkey Meatballs
Makes 6 to 8 servings
For the sauce:
1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
3 cups finely chopped onions
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated
2 cans (28 ounces each) peeled plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, optional
For the meatballs:
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs from two slices coarse bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
To make the sauce:
1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot. Add the onions and carrots and cook, covered, over low heat, until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. (Skip to meatball directions while sauce is cooking.)
2. Add the tomatoes, basil, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
3. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce, until the onions and carrots are incorporated.
4. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
5. Taste and correct the seasoning. Add the balsamic vinegar if the sauce seems to lack intensity.
To make the meatballs:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl, using a light touch.
2. Take about 2 ounces of meat in hand and roll between palms to form a ball that is packed but not compressed. Each should be 11/2 inches in diameter.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, Place the meatballs on the sheet without crowding. (The recipe should make 15 to 18 meatballs.)
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain on paper towels, if necessary, then add meatballs to the sauce. Heat through and serve with pasta.
Note: For gluten-free version, use Udi’s Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread for the breadcrumbs, and Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta for the pasta.
— Sauce adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook; meatballs adapted from a recipe for Kim Severson’s mother’s meatballs.

Per serving (based on 8): 396 calories, 22 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams sugar, 24 grams fat, 85 milligrams cholesterol, 716 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.