by Giulia


(4 people)


  • 170 g dried chickpeas
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 250 g of minced turkey breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Soak the chickpeas for at least twelve hours. Rinse and collect them in a pot with a few sage leaves, a sprig of rosemary and plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about an hour, or until soft.
  2. Drain the chickpeas from the cooking water. Mash half of the chickpeas in a smooth puree, leaving the rest whole. In a bowl add the minced turkey breast, the mashed chickpeas and the whole chickpeas, a beaten egg, the grated lemon zest, thyme and a tablespoon of bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all the ingredients with your hands and form 16 meatballs and coat them in breadcrumbs. Grease a baking tin, arrange the meatballs and drizzle them with olive oil. Preheat oven to 200°C and cook the meatballs for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

I have a weakness for meatballs, as perhaps half of the Italian population: born to reuse creatively leftover meat and other ingredients of the day before, today meatballs are open to a thousand interpretations.

In this case you can recycle leftover chickpeas or prepare them specifically for this recipe. White, covered with a golden crust and subtly scented lemon, these meatballs are ideal for children, one more way to introduce in their diet white meat and pulses.

For older children, instead, serve with some strong mustard spoon.

Born and bred in Tuscany, I am a food writer and a food photographer. I live in the countryside between Siena and Florence, where I also teach Tuscan cooking classes for locals and tourists. In 2017 my fifth cookery book will be published. As for every Tuscan home cook, legumes, especially beans and chickpeas, are part of my daily life and my culinary traditions.

Find me on my blog www.julskitchen.com