Spaghetti and Vegan “Meatballs”

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

This classic Italian-American staple, made vegan, will certainly impress your family. Walnuts and pecans, combined with mashed chickpeas and Italian-style flavorings, make for an easy and surprisingly realistic “meatball”! If you want to keep it gluten-free, use certified gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats and gluten-free spaghetti in this recipe. Serve these Spaghetti and Vegan “Meatballs” with a simple salad and crusty bread and you have a hearty, kiddo-friendly meal.

Makes 4 servings

2

INGREDIENTS:

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces (see note for substitution)
½ cup pecan halves (see note for substitution)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed, if canned
1⁄3 cup diced sweet onion
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons prepared vegan
marinara sauce, divided
¾ pound (12 ounces) whole-grain or gluten-free spaghetti

3

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper with ½ tablespoon olive oil.

Put the walnuts, pecans, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a blender (or food processor), and process into coarse crumbs. Transfer the walnut mixture to a large bowl. Add the rolled oats and stir to combine.

4

Put the chickpeas, onion, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the blender, and process into a very chunky purée. Add the chickpea mixture to the walnut mixture and stir to incorporate. Add 3 tablespoons marinara sauce and stir to combine.

Spoon out about 3 tablespoons of the walnut–chickpea mixture and roll it into a very compact ball. Continue in this way to make 12 to 14 “meatballs.” Arrange the “meatballs” on the lined pan, rolling each in a bit of the olive oil that is coating the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more, or until the “meatballs” are firm and golden. (Gently rotate each “meatball” halfway through cooking.)

5

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti. Meanwhile, put 2 cups of marinara sauce in a medium saucepan and heat to simmering.

To serve, put one-quarter of the spaghetti into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three “meatballs.” Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.

Chef’s note: If you are cooking nut-free, use sunflower seeds (roasted or raw) in place of the walnuts and pecans.

Ingredients

Directions

1

ABOUT THE RECIPE:

This classic Italian-American staple, made vegan, will certainly impress your family. Walnuts and pecans, combined with mashed chickpeas and Italian-style flavorings, make for an easy and surprisingly realistic “meatball”! If you want to keep it gluten-free, use certified gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats and gluten-free spaghetti in this recipe. Serve these Spaghetti and Vegan “Meatballs” with a simple salad and crusty bread and you have a hearty, kiddo-friendly meal.

Makes 4 servings

2

INGREDIENTS:

1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces (see note for substitution)
½ cup pecan halves (see note for substitution)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed, if canned
1⁄3 cup diced sweet onion
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons prepared vegan
marinara sauce, divided
¾ pound (12 ounces) whole-grain or gluten-free spaghetti

3

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper with ½ tablespoon olive oil.

Put the walnuts, pecans, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a blender (or food processor), and process into coarse crumbs. Transfer the walnut mixture to a large bowl. Add the rolled oats and stir to combine.

4

Put the chickpeas, onion, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the blender, and process into a very chunky purée. Add the chickpea mixture to the walnut mixture and stir to incorporate. Add 3 tablespoons marinara sauce and stir to combine.

Spoon out about 3 tablespoons of the walnut–chickpea mixture and roll it into a very compact ball. Continue in this way to make 12 to 14 “meatballs.” Arrange the “meatballs” on the lined pan, rolling each in a bit of the olive oil that is coating the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more, or until the “meatballs” are firm and golden. (Gently rotate each “meatball” halfway through cooking.)

5

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti. Meanwhile, put 2 cups of marinara sauce in a medium saucepan and heat to simmering.

To serve, put one-quarter of the spaghetti into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three “meatballs.” Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.

Chef’s note: If you are cooking nut-free, use sunflower seeds (roasted or raw) in place of the walnuts and pecans.

Spaghetti and Vegan “Meatballs”
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