I like to twirl mine with a spoon. I learned that many, MANY years ago from my mom and dad. Mom’s spaghetti and meat sauce was a treat every time we had it. I loved twirling my noodles on my spoon, then eating all the leftover sauce after all the noodles were gone. I’ve never outgrown twirling my noodles on a spoon. My husband likes to cut up his noodles, which is a more practical way to eat them, but in my opinion, not as much fun!
Tonight I made a yummy comfort meal for us. I found a vegetarian veggie ‘meatball’ recipe a few years ago that I’ve tweaked along the way. The recipe comes from the Cookin Canuck: http://www.cookincanuck.com/2011/11/cannellini-bean-vegetarian-meatballs-with-tomato-sauce-recipe/. She uses egg which I do not, but flax meal mixed with water is an easy substitute. I made a few other modifications which you’ll see and I think they are tasty. The ‘meat’ balls tend to fall apart in sauce, so I put mine in at the last few minutes before I’m ready to serve them. They make for a very filling dish. I of course had fun twirling my spaghetti noodles with this dish!
Cannellini Bean Vegetarian “Meatballs” with Tomato
Yield: Serves 4
Adapted from the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. http://www.cookincanuck.com
1 1⁄2 cans (15 oz. each) Bush’s Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (or half can black or
1 roasted red bell pepper (2 halves), roughly chopped
1⁄2 medium yellow onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
Tomato powder (tsp or so)* optional
1 tbs flx/3tbs water
Nutritional yeast (1/4 cup or less)
1 to 1 1/2 cups ground oat flour (grind oats in the food processor until finely ground)
1⁄2 tsp kosher salt or less
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cups marinara sauce (your favorite kind)
Vegan Parmesan cheese for grating
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and roasted red peppers. Pulse until
chopped, but not smoothly pureed.
3. Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and stir in grated onion, garlic, parsley,
oregano, flaxmeal/water combo, ground oats, spices salt and pepper until well combined.
4. Using a rounded 2 tablespoon portion of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling
between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet,
spacing evenly. I place mine in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. I also coated them in a light coating of seasoned breadcrumbs before baking.
5. Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have developed a light golden brown coating, 25-30
6. In a large saucepan, heat you favorite marinara sauce over medium heat until simmering.
Add “meatballs” and stir to coat. Simmer until the sauce thicken
s slightly, stirring
occasionally, less than 5 minutes.
7. Serve over spaghetti and top with vegan parmesan cheese.
My Marinara Sauce:
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 head of garlic minced (this takes the most time)
crushed red peppers
dried basil to taste
1/4 cup chianti or other dark red wine
1. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes over low heat until garlic starts to get soft and fragrant, be careful not to burn the garlic.
2. Add the tomatoes and stir until blended. Cover and cook over low heat about an hour. I add the red wine about 30 minutes in and use a potato masher to mash up the tomatoes a bit.
3. Add the basil near the end of cooking.
Vegan Parmesan “cheese”
This is not my recipe, but it’s a very common recipe out there.
Grind equal parts of nutritional yeast and cashews in a coffee/spice grinder until well blended. Store in refrigerator.
Here’s a photo of dinner: