There’s something so comforting about digging into a bowl of carbo-licious pasta. If I could, I would eat pasta/noodles everyday. But that would surely result in a carb-induced coma. And not to mention do some serious damage to my waistline.
This recipe is a slightly lightened up version of the classic spaghetti and meatballs. Instead of tomato sauce, I’ve opted for an oil-based sauce of fiery Sichuan pepper and chili powder. And a good dose of hoisin and soy sauce adds some sweetness and saltiness to the meatballs.
…Because sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta to take you to your happy place after a long, hard day!
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 1 star anise
- Pinch of salt
- 450g ground turkey (can also use ground beef or ground chicken)
- 3 gloves of garlic, finely grated
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Olive oil
- Dried spaghetti or spaghettini noodles
- Handful of bean sprouts
- Fresh cilantro
- 1 red Thai chili, seeds removed and thinly sliced (if you want an extra dose of spiciness)
- Heat oil and star anise in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes (the oil should look shimmery). Remove from the heat and discard the star anise. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned. Set aside and let cool. Add to the ground turkey along with the hoisin and soy sauce. Mix well. Shape ground turkey into golf ball-sized meatballs.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add meatballs and cook for 7-8 minutes, turning every 1-2 minutes to ensure all sides are browned. Be sure not to over-crowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary.
- While the meatballs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to instructions. When the pasta is 1-2 minutes from being cooked, add the bean sprouts to the water to soften. Drain the water and toss with Sichuan chili oil. Add the cooked meatballs to the pasta. Garnish with cilantro and Thai chili if desired. Enjoy immediately.