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Sriracha Marinara & Meatballs

By 5:38 PM , , ,

Warning: If you don't like spicy, I'll just go ahead and save you the time and let you know that you won't like this dish.  Of course, I mean that in the nicest of ways.  If you do like heat, then this recipe is probably right up your alley! 

This Everyday Food recipe isn't by any means your typical spaghetti and meatballs.  It's a majorly kicked up and surprising version of the Italian go-to dish. This sauce is spicy and the meatballs are packed with delicious, good for you, spinach.

This dish is definitely not short on flavor and was such a nice change from the typical spaghetti and meatballs (which we also love!).  Though typically an Italian tasting dish, besides the spaghetti itself, the flavors are more bold and not country (or cuisine, for that matter!) specific.

The meatballs were delicious and the spinach adds such a great texture to them. The recipe calls for using ground pork and ground turkey, neither of which I am a fan. So instead, I used ground venison - which is naturally very lean, and lean ground grass-fed beef.

The sauce is fairly thin as far as spaghetti sauce goes, but thick enough to coat the meatballs and the noodles perfectly. 

We really enjoyed this and it was a great way to sneak in some healthy spinach! It was also the first time I have made dinner since becoming pregnant - so, I was very happy with the results.

Sriracha Marinara & Meatballs

For the meatballs:
1 lb ground pork (I used ground venison)
1 lb ground white-meat turkey (I used lean ground grass fed beef)
1 16 oz bag frozen chopped spinach (or 1 1/2 10 oz pkgs), thawed & squeezed dry
2 egg whites
1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
3/4 tsp dried oregano
corse salt & pepper
nonstick cooking spray

For the sauce:
2 tsps olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
1 box whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Heat broiler, with rack in top position.  Place pork, turkey, spinach, breadcrumbs, egg whites, oregano, 1 1/2 tsps salt & 1/2 tsp pepper in a large bowl.

With your hands, mix to combine.  Roll into 1 - 1 1/2 inch meatballs.  Arrange meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet.  Lightly coat with cooking spray.  Broil for 5 minutes.  Turn meatballs and broil another 5 minutes, until golden brown.

In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add tomatoes and Sriracha and bring to a simmer.  Add meatballs and simmer at least 10 minutes.  (To store, let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 week, or freeze, up to 3 months).

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta, add to pot with meatballs and gently toss to coat.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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  1. Made this on a lazy Sunday afternoon - only a few modifications. The ingredient list doesn't list how many egg whites, so I went with three. I also added some garlic powder to the meatballs, because I was planning on freezing some without the sauce (which has garlic). I had 1.25 lbs of both ground pork and turkey, so I increased the bread crumbs and used a two packages of spinach. I got 30 large meatballs.

    This marinara sauce is spot on and right up my alley. I added a bit of salt at the end, but that could vary, depending on the brand of crushed tomatoes you use.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. It will become a permanent Sunday staple at my house!

    PS. I stumbled across your blog from www.eatingrichmond.com - I am a Richmonder at heart, born and raised and have recently relocated to the Midwest :) Keep the recipes coming!

    Thanks again!

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by Susan! I've fixed the ingredient list - I appreciate you calling that to my attention. The original recipe calls for 2 eggs whites.