For dinner tonight, I wanted to use up some ingredients on hand. I had some ground turkey, marinara, ricotta, and spaghetti. Rather than make meatballs, I decided to make little turkey sausage balls. I love Penzey's spicy sausage seasoning because it's much cheaper to take ground turkey and season it than buy turkey sausage. I ran out of the mixture, so I looked at the ingredients list and made up my own using their spice blend. I served this with a big Caesar salad.
Baked Spaghetti and Mini Turkey Sausage Balls
1/2 lb. spaghetti (Ronzoni Smart Taste)
2 c. zesty marinara
1/2 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey
2 tbsp. Spicy Sausage Seasoning
1 c. part skim ricotta
10 bail leaves, torn
1/4 c. part skim mozzarella
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in pasta. Cook to al dente.
Heat marinara in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add turkey and seasoning mix in a bowl, toss gently to combine. Form into 1 cm. balls and drop into simmering sauce as they're formed to poach.
Gently toss sausage in the sauce to cook, about 10 minutes.
Turn off skillet.
Add pasta to the sauce and sausage mixture, toss to coat.
Add ricotta and toss to combine. If pasta looks dry, add chicken stock.
Pour pasta and sausage into a casserole dish. Top with Cheeses.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until browned on top and bubbly.
Spicy Sausage Mixture
1 tbsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
2 tsp. ground fennel seeds
Mix all spices and store in a glass spice jar or plastic storage bag.
We like it extra brown and crunchy, but you can take it out sooner if you like it creamier!