This recipe for broccoli & turkey meatballs with ricotta, basil, lime & honey fettuccine is a great way to get your kids to eat some more veggies, as the taste of the broccoli in the turkey meatball is just delicious! I’ve made quite a lot of different meatball recipes in the past: lamb meatballs with tomato rice, lamb meatballs with a red curry, pork & tarragon meatballs, spaghetti meatballs and turmeric meatballs. But I had never actually used a vegetable in my meatballs.
I’ve used turkey mince for this recipe as I wanted to make it quite lean and light as well. The sauce that goes with these meatballs is heavier though as we’re using ricotta. To make it a little bit sweeter I’ve added some local honey and basil as well. To make sure we get enough of that lovely broccoli into our meal, I’ve used half the broccoli in the meatballs and the other half has gone into the sauce.
It’s so easy to make and there isn’t much that can go wrong as there isn’t much technique required. If you don’t have an oven you also also very easily pan fry these meatballs.
Broccoli & turkey meatballs with ricotta, basil, lime & honey fettuccine
- 1 medium sized broccoli
- 450g turkey mince
- 2 eggs
- 10 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs (panko)
- 1 medium sized red onion
- 2-3 tablespoons of local honey
- 300g ricotta
- +- 75g fresh basil (I used almost an entire plant)
- smoked salt / salt
- olive oil
- 2 limes
Preheat the oven to 190° C
Bring lightly salted water to a boil.
Slice up the broccoli, only remove the bottom thickest piece of the stem and the leaves. Cut everything else in large chunks: half the stem, slice up the head of the broccoli into florets with their stalks still attached. There is no need to cut this up really finely yet as we'll do that after boiling the broccoli. Add to the boiling water, cook until soft which will takea about 6-8 minutes.
Drain the broccoli and let it cool down for a few minutes before chopping everything up really finely.
Mix the mince with the eggs, breadcrumbs, a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Slice up the onion finely and add it to the mix. Add half of the broccoli.
Roll the mince into meatballs and place them into an oiled oven tray. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. Make sure to flip them over a few times.
While the meatballs are halfway through their cooking time, heat up a bit of olive oil in a small saucepan.
Cut up the basil leaves roughly and add them to the saucepan. Let them simmer for a few minutes, then add the rest of the broccoli.
Add the ricotta & honey along with the juice of 1 lime to the saucepan. Taste and add more lime juice if desired, I used 2 limes as I really liked the taste of it in the sauce.
Cook the fettuccine according to instructions. Drain it when it's done but preserve half a glass of the water.
Stir the sauce into the fettuccine and add a little bit of the water, this will help mix the sauce with the pasta. Don't add too much as we don't want it to be a runny sauce.
Add the meatballs onto the fettuccine and enjoy!
If you don't have an oven you can easily pan-fry these meatballs too