fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
panko bread crumbs (these are Japanese-style; they’re coarser and crispier than regular bread crumbs)
kosher salt and black pepper
a few store-bought turkey meatballs (decoys!)
spaghetti (¾ box)
16-ounce jar marinara sauce (2 cups)
grated Parmesan, for serving
- Heat oven to 400° F. Finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
- While the onion cooks, chop the garlic and parsley. Add the garlic, parsley, and fennel seeds to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Add the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the cooled onion mixture and gently mix to combine.
- Wet your hands (this will keep the meat from sticking to them) and form the turkey mixture into balls about the size of a heaping tablespoon (make sure they are roughly the same size as the store-bought ones). You should get about 20 meatballs.
- Place the meatballs on the baking sheet along with a few store-bought ones, spacing them 1 inch apart. Roast until they are cooked through, 18 to 22 minutes. You may have to keep an eye on the store-bought ones to make sure that they don’t overcook.
- While the meatballs are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti and warm the marinara sauce in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Cook the spaghetti.
- Drain the spaghetti and place it in a large bowl or platter. Place the meatballs on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Place the tomato sauce in a small serving bowl and do the same with the Parmesan.
- Set all the separate platters and bowls on the dinner table. Sit down and have everyone, including the kids, serve themselves.