I come from an Italian cooking heritage. My family hand-makes ravioli at Christmas time on the order of 20+ dozen. We make all our own sauces, and, when possible, our own pasta. The tricks to a perfect meatball have been known to me since I was 10. But I can’t say that my meatball recipe is exactly low-cholesterol. So, off I went to find some substitutions and see if I could still make my Italian heritage proud. You will need:
- Lean ground turkey
- Egg or egg substitute
- Parmesan cheese
- Whole wheat pasta
- Spaghetti sauce
I won’t pretend that using 99% lean turkey is a true substitute for the meatballs I am used to, but they actually turned out well. The trick to making sure that you have a meatball that is still flavorful is to add spices to your mix. I am a fan of liberal amounts of oregano, basil, black pepper, and even some minced garlic. Adding the spices will punch up the flavor. You won’t mistake it for a full fat meatball, but you won’t be wishing you had a full fat meatball either.
I really liked that this recipe made changes that fit into my new low-cholesterol lifestyle. The lean turkey helps cut the fat out, while the oats are a great grain substitute for the bread crumbs I would normally use. This recipe really made me feel like I could still enjoy my Italian heritage without having to sacrifice too much.
This recipe was a hit at my house, and, in fact, has been upgraded to part of my regular dinner rotation. If I don’t know what to fill in for a specific night, this spaghetti and meatball dish is a simple go-to. The meatballs don’t take long to make or cook, so as long as the meat is thawed, I can make this on a whim. Consider punching up your spaghetti a little bit by adding some spinach to the sauce while you heat it up. The spinach is also a great low-cholesterol food, and it adds flavor and substance to the meal. Not only will I be making this again, I’m actually making it again tonight.