Rocco DiSpirito's "My Mama’s Meatballs"

Yields: 6 Low Calorie 250

Rocco DiSpirito's "My Mama’s Meatballs"

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • 2

    cloves garlic, divided

  • cup chopped onion, divided

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1

    cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, such as Swanson’s, divided

  • cups Redpack tomato purée

  • cups Redpack diced tomatoes

  • ½

    medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise

  • 6

    ounces lean ground turkey breast, such as Jennie-O

  • 4

    ounces 96% lean ground beef, such as Laura’s Lean

  • 2

    ounces extra-lean ground pork, such as Farmer John

  • 1

    large egg white

  • ¼

    cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

  • ½

    ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

  • 2

    cups puffed Kamut cereal, such as Arrowhead Mills

  • Salt


Preheat the broiler. Coat a large skillet with 4 seconds of cooking spray. Add half the garlic and half the onion and a pinch of red pepper flakes, place over medium high heat and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add in half the chicken broth, all of the tomato purée and the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Place the eggplant, cut side up on a broiler pan and broil until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the broiler, place it on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high until tender, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Scoop the eggplant pulp out of its skin and let any excess water drip off. Measure out 1/2 cup of the pulp, then chop it fine. Combine the turkey, beef and pork in a large bowl. Place the egg white, the remaining chicken broth, remaining onion, remaining garlic and the parsley in a blender, and blend until finely chopped (not puréed), about 30 seconds. Add the mixture to the meat; add the Parmigiano and crumble the Kamut cereal in with your fingers. Add the eggplant, season with salt and red pepper flakes, and mix gently, using a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a very thick wet paste. Use a tablespoon to measure 16 equal heaping mounds onto a clean work surface and form the mounds into balls with your hands. Coat a large nonstick skillet with 4 seconds of cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and cook until lightly browned on one side, about 1 minute. Roll the meatballs and brown on the other side, about 2 minutes. Remove the browned meatballs from the pan and gently place in the tomato sauce; coat the pan with another 4 seconds of cooking spray, and brown the rest of the meatballs. Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook at a low simmer for 1 hour.


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