Oprah's Favorite Turkey Meatballs

A few years ago Oprah said that her favorite lunch was three turkey meatballs from Tratoria Mollie in Montecito. Mollie's, as us locals call it, is a fantastic Italian restaurant serving fresh pasta, pizza, etc... Naturally I headed straight to Mollie's to get my hands on these meatballs Oprah raved about. They were super flavorful and juicy. The secret ingredient? Raisins. Yes, raisins.

I like to make healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs, so instead of deep frying I brown them in a little olive oil or bake the meatballs. Often I make them really early in the day and leave them in the slow cooker covered in sauce until dinnertime. I will share my sauce recipe in another post, but I add a ton of veggies to it (carrots, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms are favorites).

While Tratoria Mollie is a fun place to visit, especially if you're sitting next to Oprah, these meatballs will cost you about $26 for dinner. Thank you Mollie for sharing your recipe so we can make them at home.
Turkey Meatball (Polpette alla Mollie)
makes 18 meatballs 
  • 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 ounces fresh breadcrumbs , plus 10 ounces to coat meatballs
  • 1 whole egg , plus 4 more for egg wash
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese , plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3 ounces black raisins
  • 4 ounces white flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 12 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 4 cups fresh tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
Heat oil to 400 degrees F in deep fryer or large, heavy pot suitable for deep frying.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a large bowl combine sausage, 2 ounces breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together briefly to distribute seasonings. Add raisins and mix them in. Shape into 2.5-ounce meatballs and set aside.

Put flour in shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat four eggs. In a third bowl, put 10 ounces of fresh breadcrumbs.

Lightly coat meatballs in flour, dip in egg wash and roll in breadcrumbs coating meatballs evenly.

Using slotted spoon, cook batches of meatballs in deep fryer until golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper-lined plate.

Put olive oil in large frying pan on medium high heat. Add chopped garlic and shallots, cooking until golden. Stir in a pinch of red pepper and add brandy. Put tomato sauce into pan and transfer meatballs, covering them with sauce.

Put pan into preheated oven for 20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked. When finished, take out and garnish with 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, oregano and Parmesan cheese.

Serve alone or with pasta.
Description: Oprah's Favorite Turkey Meatballs
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: mangan jagung
On: 9:34 AM