Hearty Pasta with Un-Meatballs

Do you ever get into phases with food? I do. I’ll absolutely obsess about something for weeks. Eating it almost daily until I simply can’t eat any more. I’ve been on an avocado toast kick that has lasted months. And that’s exactly what’s happening to me and un-meatballs. It’s becoming an addiction. The meatballs I made for the Super Bowl have taken over my life. I’m loving them. So this might be a bit of a thin post -what with only a couple tweaks from the last version but I just couldn’t help but share. They were too good not to! And after making an obscene amount of lentils for the original recipe, I had some extras laying around that I froze until I couldn’t stand not eating meatballs, and then whipped up another batch with a few Italian-inspired tweaks.

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I whipped these up after work one night, so I didn’t have the patience to make a full batch, take any prep photos, or to cook the mushrooms ahead of time. They definitely had a stronger mushroomy flavor this time around, so if you’d prefer to not taste the mushrooms as much, go ahead and give them a quick cook first. I also made a smaller batch than last time, not needing 18 meatballs. (Though I would have eaten them all anyway)

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What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cups cooked lentils
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons egg replacer (with 5 tablespoons water – or however your egg replacer directs to make an egg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups store-bought marinara sauce (if you’re lazy like me)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pasta of your choice (I used shells because it’s what I had on hand)

Add all the ingredients together in a bowl, until everything is well mixed and starts to stick together. Roll the  meatballs into about one-inch balls and make sure to pack them together well (especially if you haven’t already cooked the mushrooms, they can use some extra oomph getting packed together). Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the meatballs to the pan, keeping a close eye on them and turning as necessary.

In the meantime, cook whole wheat pasta, and warm up some store-bought sauce. (I added a bit of spinach to mine for more greens). When your meatballs are done, top the pasta with them and add sauce. Voila. A relatively easy work-night dinner that will leave you extremely satisfied while also feeling healthy.

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7 responses to “Hearty Pasta with Un-Meatballs

  1. These look fabulous! I’ve been dying to try a vegetarian meatball lately, and this recipe looks like it would be a great one to start with. What is your egg-replacer of choice? I’ve read about using ground flax seeds.

    • Thanks, Lisa! I actually have recently started using Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer – which is made out of wheat gluten and soy flour. But if you’re gluten-free, flax “eggs” can definitely work. I believe to make one “egg” use 1 tablespoon of ground flax and three tablespoons of water, mix it together and refrigerate for a few minutes. And voila – a flax egg!

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