Turkey, mozzarella and sage meatballs with fettuccine and tomato sauce

I know Italian meatballs are traditionally made with beef, but this series of recipes is all about sourcing cheap and great tasting meals. This falls firmly in the family category as well. A great one for the kids and the stringy mozzarella and sage works wonders with the turkey. Who needs tradition?


  • 500g of fettuccine (68p)
  • 700g of Italian passata sauce (90p)
  • 500g of taste the difference free range turkey mince (£2.39)
  • 1 ball, 125g of fresh Sainsbury’s basics mozzarella (47p)
  • 1 bulb of garlic (25p)
  • 20g of fresh sage (68p)
  • 1 red onion (18p)

The cupboard staples…

Salt, black pepper, olive oil, sugar, 1 egg yolk and balsamic vinegar

Total cost

If you already have the cupboard staples, then according to mysupermarket.co.uk, this trolley was cheapest at Sainsbury’s where it came to £5.55 - that's £1.38 per head!


  • It’s definitely best to make the meatballs first so you can refrigerate before cooking to firm them up.
  • Start by slowly cooking down the finely chopped red onion in a saucepan with a little olive oil for about 3 minutes. Then take off the heat and set to one side to cool down before adding to the mixture.
  • Now grab a mixing bowl and add the turkey mince, 1 egg yolk, the finely chopped sage, the finely chopped mozzarella, salt, lots of black pepper and two cloves of minced garlic. Mix together well and then add the onions once cooled down. Mix well again and shape into 16 balls – place in the fridge to rest and firm up. They’ll keep for a couple of days in the fridge if need be.
  • Next up the tomato sauce. Add a few teaspoons of olive oil to a saucepan and gently cook 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic – watch carefully to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Now add the passata, salt, black pepper, a good pinch of sugar, half a cup of water and a really good dash of balsamic vinegar. Reduce the sauce down by around a third.
  • The meatballs will take around 10 to 12 minutes to cook, so get the fettuccine in a large pan of salted boiling water and cook as instructed.
  • Take a large frying pan and add a few dessert spoons of olive oil and cook the meatballs until they’re nicely browned all over. Keep turning them to make sure they don’t burn. They will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook right through. If the meatballs look like they’re catching, just turn the heat right down and cook gently for a few minutes.
  • Serve with the fettuccine and tomato sauce over the top of the meatballs. Happy eating!


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