Bovolo-Inspired "Honeymoon" Turkey Meatball Sub

By • August 14, 2013 1 Comments

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Author Notes: During my honeymoon in California, the open-faced turkey meatball sandwich at Bovolo in Healdsburg (now closed!?!) was a staple of our trip. I never did get the recipe, so this is my re-creation, which pales in comparison, but still satisfies the nostalgia requirement. It is totally acceptable (and likely required) to use a fork and knife.sumradagnoth


Serves 6

Turkey Meatballs

  • 2.5 cups cubed fresh bread, soaked in milk, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 1 pound ground dark meat turkey
  • 1 pound italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
  • 1/4 pound prosciutto crudo, diced
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1/4 cup pecorino romano
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
  • 1 recipe of your favorite homemade tomato sauce (keep it simple)
  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands until combined. Do not over-mix. You want it to just come together. Take a small piece of the mixture and cook it through in a pan with oil to test seasoning, and adjust the mixture as needed.
  2. Form large-ish meatballs, smaller than tennis balls, and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan with high sides and thoroughly brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Heat tomato sauce in a large pot. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. Lower the heat and keep everything warm until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.


  • 1 bunch fresh arugula leaves
  • great quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 recipe of turkey meatballs and sauce
  • 6 very thick slices of pane pugliese
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 pound burrata
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Pre-heat the broiler.
  2. Add arugula to a mixing bowl and lightly dress with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss briefly and set aside.
  3. Grill the bread slices and immediately rub with the cut garlic clove. You want to "sand" the bread with the garlic. Drizzle each slice of bread with extra-virgin olive oil and lay them on a baking sheet.
  4. Place a layer of basil leaves on top of each slice of bread. Top each slice with two of the meatballs and a spoon-full of sauce. Tear the burrata over each sandwich and sprinkle with parmigiano. Place briefly under the broiler to get the cheese melting.
  5. Place each sandwich on an individual plate. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Stack the dressed arugula over each sandwich, sprinkle with more parmigiano, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve open-faced. Win!

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