Turkey meatballs with Roasted Marinara and Polenta

This week I found a recipe for a super simple, super delicious roasted marinara sauce, and started thinking of all the things I could use it for, just because I loved it so much! One of the ideas I had was to serve it over turkey meatballs with creamy, heavenly polenta. I haven’t made polenta since Easter dinner last spring, because it’s THAT packed with calories and hard to justify eating on a regular basis! But since autumn is the season for “comfort food” and the marinara and meatballs are “somewhat” healthy, I thought I would  ‘just go for it,’ and i’m SO glad I did! This is one of the best things I have made in a long time! Plus, if you have some left-over or bottled marinara on hand, this recipe comes together SO fast and simply, that you have a gourmet dinner in under 30 minutes that looks and tastes as if you have been slaving away all day on it. This recipe is definitely one to have on hand this season {even if you do only make it once this season!} ;-)

{for the meatballs: adapted from a food centric life}
1 pound ground turkey
6 Tbsp breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon red chile pepper
1 generous tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
1 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons olive oil (plus extra for pan)
1 egg 1/2 teaspoon
sea or kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
{for the marinara sauce: adapted from a food centric life}
5 lbs Roma tomatoes
8 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
ground oregano, kosher salt & black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 425degF. Cut the tomatoes into large chunks, then place into a roasting pan. Add the garlic, olive oil and wine, and season well with kosher salt, pepper and a pinch or two of ground oregano. Toss with your hands, and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the tomatoes become juicy and slightly caramelized.

Carefully transfer the roasted tomatoes with their juices to a food processor or blender, and pulse until blended.

Lower the oven to 350degF. In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, red pepper, herbs, onion, Parmesan, garlic, oil, egg, salt and pepper. Using a large cookie scoop, roll out the meatballs into about 1 1/2″ in diameter, and place onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn and bake for 5 more minutes, until done.

Meanwhile, make the polenta: place a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place the meatballs on top of the polenta, and a generous amount of warm marinara sauce over the meatballs. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, and serve immediately.
I know you will enjoy this one!
<3 Sarah