Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
For the sauce:
2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup pesto
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
To make the sauce, transfer tomatoes and their juices into a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes to break up any large chunks. Set aside. Heat oil in heavy bottomed large pot and add onions. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Once onions are translucent, add garlic and cook while stirring for a minute (do not let garlic brown). Add tomatoes and juice, season with salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces and slightly thickens, 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and season again.
While the sauce cooks, prepare the meatballs. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the ground turkey, pesto, Parmesan, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Wet your hands and form meatballs (about 1 inch) and place on non-stick baking sheets (or baking sheets spayed with non-stick cooking spray). Space meatballs evenly without crowding.
Bake until browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Turn using tongs and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until browned on the other side. Remove from oven and gently place in pot with simmering sauce. Be sure meatballs simmer in sauce until cooked through, about 10-20 minutes.
Serve meatballs in sauce with toothpicks while warm.