I've been craving pasta and meatballs for months, but never had the time/energy/whatever to make them. Finally I decided that Monday was the day, and after work I got out the pressure cooker and cooked up a big batch of lentils... Sadly, it was not meant to be, and they went straight into the freezer. [Fastforward to today].
So, a while back I found this incredible recipe for lentil meatballs on The Post Punk Kitchen. I never had the desire to make the whole recipe, sauce and all, though I must say that the "meat"balls themselves are pure genius. Perfection!
Now this recipe, taking around 45 minutes to make, isn't the quickest thing in the universe to do, though the effort is well worth it!
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, quartered
1.5 cups cooked green or brown lentils
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten flour
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
0.5 cup breadcrumbs
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc. Use a blender to mince the garlic (or you could use a fine grater, like I do because I find my blender isn't that great with garlic). Add the onion and blend until it's very finely chopped. Put into a large mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and pulse until they're in a smooth paste. Add to the mixing bowl and mix with your hands for around two minutes. At this point it doesn't look too appertising. But don't worry!
3. Roll into whatever size balls you'd like. Usually I make around 20 pingpong sized balls, which work out perfect for four meals.
4. Heat around a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Then place around half of the balls at a time (don't overcrowd your pan!) and let them cook, turning regularly, until slightly browned on the outside.
5. Transfer the balls to a baking tray and bake them in the pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning every once in a while to make sure they cook evenly.
6. Serve with pasta and your favourite sauce!
My sauce was incredibly simple, because I wanted to enjoy the full beauty of the meatballs. Here's the recipe, just incase you're un-inspired today:
0.5 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
250g mushrooms, sliced
2 medium carrots, grated
pinch of rock salt
0.5 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp paprika
0.5 tsp chilli flakes
1kg tomato pulp
2 bay leaves
1. Heat the oil on a medium heat in the same large pan you originally browned the meatballs in. Add the garlic and saute for around a minute, until softened. Add the mushrooms and carrot and the seasoning, and cook until they reduce a little.
2. Add the meatballs, tomato pulp, and bay leaves and mix.
3. Simmer on a low heat whilst you cook your pasta (or for around 15 minutes).