Heart Healthy Meatballs with Fresh Ricotta and Tomato Primavera Sauce

Heart Healthy Meatballs with Fresh Ricotta and Tomato Primavera Sauce

Hi everyone,

Here is a great recipe to put some of the late summer vegetables harvested from your garden to use. I also want to introduce a great pasta alternative, called Shirataki Noodles. These low-carb Japanese noodles can satisfy any of your pasta cravings. Shirataki Noodles are made from yams and soy beans, and are naturally low in calories and carbs (only 3 g of carbs and 20 calories per serving), plus they are an excellent source of fiber. These low fat noodles are tender and absorb the flavors you cook them with. My wife and cook with them all the time and have made them a staple in our diet. In addition to the noodles, this recipe has also been adapted to being more heart healthy by using ground turkey and Fiber One cereal instead of breadcrumbs. The fresh ricotta adds the perfect amount of richness and creaminess to the dish, completely tying together all the wonderful flavors and textures. I know you are going to love this recipe. Enjoy it with a nice bottle of Zinfandel.

Bon appétit!

Chef Piet,


Ingredients- serves 4

  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup ground Fiber One cereal
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated reduced fat Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey meat
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cups tomato primavera sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 packages of Shirataki noodles
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta (part skim), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup basil cut into ribbons

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Directions for meatballs

Add the onion, garlic, egg, Fiber One crumbs, basil, Parmesan, salt and pepper to a large bowl and blend. Mix in the turkey. Shape the turkey mixture into golf ball sized meatballs. Place on a large plate.

Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Add the tomato primavera sauce. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. Just before serving, remove meatballs to a plate and cover with tin foil.

Cook the Shirataki Noodles according to directions, about 3 minutes in boiling water. Drain and add the noodles to the pan with the tomato sauce. Toss to coat. Divide the noodles amongst 4 bowls. Add 3 meatballs per bowl and top with a little tomato sauce. Using an ice cream scooper, add about a 1/4 cup ball of ricotta to the center of each bowl. Garnish with basil ribbons, salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

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Primavera Tomato Sauce

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 12 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 ripe vine tomatoes, small diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup of spinach
  •  1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Add olive oil to a large, deep-sided frying pan. Saute onion over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer. Add crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, red wine, and the water. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Add carrots, broccoli, zucchini and cook until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Add spinach, basil, season to taste with salt and pepper.

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