I don’t think I grew up eating spaghetti and meatballs, and if I did, I am sure I wouldn’t have cared because my Mom would have probably put a shit ton of onions in them. Nothing screams summer than using local produce to make my farmers market marinara with chicken sausage meatballs.
My late husband tolerated meatballs. Don’t even get me started about the time I tried to pass off red quinoa in lean ground beef to pass as a meatball – that didn’t go over too well! 😂.
I have been going to the farmers market for the last few weeks. It’s not the same experience because you don’t touch the food and it seems like people pick up their food and go. No hanging out over coffee (how to drink with a mask on!), but I stumbled upon a small vendor Stephen of The Waypoint Farm.
Last week he had fresh picked roma tomatoes and baby carrots, so I knew I would be making a homemade marinara sauce.
I started by chopping up the tomatoes, and the baby carrots, and adding four cloves are garlic to a stock pot with a cup of veggie broth.
Simmer in a stock pot over medium low heat for an hour. You want the carrots to be tender enough so you can puree the carrots. Here is how it looks after an hour. I did add a cup of water to puree it to the consistency I wanted.
My trick for chicken meatballs is two things: one – add some sort of fat. I process my own ground chicken. Last week Mariano’s had chicken on sale for $1.49 a pound. Across the way Purdue and Jennie-O had their ground chicken and turkey for $7.99 a pound. Um, no thank you!
I chose to use 13 ounces of chicken breast mixed with 3 ounces of Italian sausage. Just enough fat to make the meatballs tender and flavorful, but not dry.
I made whole wheat pasta, and garnished with fresh basil and a tablespoon of shaved parmesan. So delicious! Healthy comfort food at it’s finest. You can use the leftover marinara as pizza sauce, in stuffed peppers – so many possibilities! I plan on making a meatball sub later this week for lunch.
Farmers Market Marinara Sauce with Chicken Sausage Meatballs
A great way to use up summer produce by making your own marinara sauce, and grinding your own chicken breasts for these chicken and sausage meatballs.
- 1 pound roma tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup carrots chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 6 ounce tomato pasta
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 13 ounces chicken breast roughly chopped
- 3 ounces Italian sausage
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp garlic cloves chopped fine
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Place the sauce ingredients (roma tomatoes through 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning) in a stock pot and simmer for 60 minutes. Puree with stick blender.
Place the chicken through crushed red pepper into a food processor and pulse, until it looks like ground chicken. Divide the dough into 15 meatballs. Sear with a bit of grapeseed oil over medium high heat on all sides. Finish cooking in the marinara sauce until they reach an internal temperature of 165.
My plate shown above is 3 points and 377 calories.
This was a super healthy and delicious farmers market marinara with chicken sausage meatballs. The leftover meatballs can be frozen individually on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes, then stored in a ziplock bag.