MUSHROOM, LENTIL & WALNUT ‘MEAT’ BALLS WITH SPAGHETTI

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Italian genes run strong in our household so we love a good pasta dish, almost always covered in Nonna’s pasta sauce – the aroma of this slow cooked tomato sauce always permeates the kitchen and is so nostalgic for us all. These days we use gluten free pasta, and more often than not, enjoy a meatless topping like our bean Bolognese (link to recipe?) or these vegetarian ‘meat’ balls. These have a delicious umami flavour to help convert the die-hard meat lovers in your family!  

INGREDIENTS

Gluten Free, Vegan Option

We use all organic or biodynamic ingredients

Serves 4-6

Pasta Sauce

  • 1 medium brown onion, diced into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp filtered water
  • 4 x 400g cans peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups filtered water & 1 tbsp vegetable stock paste or 2 cubes – or 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

‘Meat’balls

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & finely diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled & finely diced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 2 cups finely chopped button, field or mixed mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 slices gluten free bread
  • 2 eggs (or 2 flax eggs)
  • 1 ½ cups soaked & pressure cooked Beluga black lentils (or 1 400g can Beluga black lentils or puy lentils, rinsed & drained well)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock paste or 2 cubes
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • ½ cup activated walnuts, chopped finely
  • Additional olive oil

To Serve

  • Gluten free spaghetti
  • Fresh basil leaves

TO MAKE 

Pasta Sauce

  • Fry onions in 2 tbsp water in large, heavy based saucepan until translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, stock, water & olive oil.
  • Cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2-2 hours, adding additional water if required.

(We pressure cook this mix initially for 20 minutes to reduce lectins, then transfer to a pan on the stove top for an additional hour or two of gentle simmering).

‘Meat’balls

Preheat oven to 180C.

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic & herbs and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until onions translucent.
  • Pulse the mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Add to onion mixture with tomato paste and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms start to caramelise. Transfer to a large bowl and chill in the fridge.
  • Pulse bread in food processor to form breadcrumbs.
  • Add eggs, lentils, psyllium husk & stock paste and pulse until well combined.
  • Add this to onion mix and stir through chopped walnuts to combine.
  • Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and arrange on a parchment paper-lined oven tray.
  • Brush with olive oil and bake for 20 -25 minutes.

TO SERVE

  • Cook your favourite gluten free spaghetti until al dente. We use gluten free brown rice spaghetti.
  • Stir through a ladle full of warm pasta sauce to coat the spaghetti.
  • Place spaghetti in bowls and top generously with more pasta sauce, ‘meat’balls and torn basil leaves.
  • Add a little organic parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast if desired.

 

MUSHROOM, LENTIL & WALNUT ‘MEAT’ BALLS WITH SPAGHETTI

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