Today we felt like making something different. You know how you have all those recipes favorited but never actually make it - even though it looks amazing?
Well, today Caitlin and I decided to actually make one of those recipes.
We give you Spaghetti-Nos with Mini Lentil Meatballs (VEGAN!).
Spaghetti-Nos with Mini Lentil Meatballs (VEGAN!)
Adapted from The Post-Punk Kitchen
For the Mini Meatballs:
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, peeled (tangerine sized or equivalent)
1 1/2 cups cooked green or brown lentils, rinsed, drained (a 15 oz can is fine)
4 tablespoons pulverized cashews
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon agave
1/2 cup seasoned store-bought breadcrumbs
For everything else:
1 lb anellini pasta (or small pasta of your choice)
Olive oil for pan frying
Store-bought pasta sauce of your choice (we used Newman's Own Marinara)
To make the mini meatballs:
We’re going to use the food processor fit with a metal S blade for most of the work here, so it should come together pretty quickly. First toss in the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Now add the onion and pulse until minced. You don’t want any big pieces or they will ruin the texture of the meatball.
With a plastic spatula, transfer the onion/garlic mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside. It’s okay if some remnants are left, just try to get most of it.
Now in the food processor, pulse the lentils, soy sauce, ketchup (or tomato paste), olive oil and water. Once everything gets mixed well, puree them until totally smooth, scraping down the sides to make sure you get everything.
Combine this mixture with the onion mixture and add in the breadcrumbs. Mix really well with your hands for about 2 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Roll the meatballs into cherry sized balls, I got 32 meatballs out of this. This goes very fast if you keep your hands clean and dry (I was averaging one meat ball every 10 seconds.) Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and pour in a thin layer of olive oil. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so pan fry in two batches. You should be able to tilt the pan and have all the meatballs roll around and get coated in oil, cooking until browned (no more than 5 minutes.)
Transfer first batch to a baking pan, cook the second batch, and transfer all meatballs to the baking pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, shaking the pan every once in awhile to toss the balls so that they cook evenly.
Boil the pasta while the meatballs are cooking. Drain pasta, and add to the sauce. When meatballs are ready, add them to the sauce as well. Toss carefully with a wooden spoon, being careful not to break the meatballs. Serve!