Noodles & No-Meat Balls
First, I should say that this is really just a “look alike” sort of meal. What I mean by that is that these no-meat balls do not have the consistency of a meat ball at all. They really are just for visual effect as far as the shape and size. They are delicious, don’t get me wrong, but they are meant to be a healthy sidekick for the noodles, and not meant to replace a regular meatball. That said, we love ’em~
1 can northern white beans
2-3 small cloves garlic, diced small or put through a press
1/2 small onion, diced
1 T. parsley
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs
pinch of red pepper flakes
S&P to taste
1/2 T. oregano or Italian spice mix
1-2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. tomato sauce
I’m not going to go through how to make noodles and sauce. Make your own sauce, or, like I do on a busy night, buy a good jar of organic, no sugar added tomato and basil pasta sauce. For the no meat balls, though, here’s what I do:
Preheat oven to 400*. Empty the can of beans in to a colander and rinse well. Turn the water to hot and rinse them a second time with warm to hot water. This will make them easier to mash. Let them sit in the colander for a minute while you prepare the rest. (dice the onion, garlic, etc).
Empty the drained beans in to a bowl and fork mash them until they are thoroughly mashed. Add onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, and all seasonings. Mix together until well mixed.
Heat enough olive oil in a medium sized skillet to cover the bottom. Form small meatballs with the bean mixture and add to the skillet. When all of the meatballs are formed, brown them in the olive oil on all sides, turning when necessary. You’ll have to be gentle because they are fragile!
When they are browned to your desire, put about 1/2 c. to 3/4 c. of your tomato sauce in to an oven-safe dish. Gently add the meatballs so they are nestled in to the sauce and bake them for about 20 min. While they are baking you can boil your noodles of choice and heat the rest of your desired sauce.
When the meatballs, sauce and noodles are all ready, plate your noodles and then gently add your no-meat balls to the top and garnish with fresh basil, vegan parmesan or regular parmesan. I prefer to eat my no-meat balls sort of like you would a regular one, with a little sauce and a noodle or two in every bite. My husband actually fork smashes his no-meat balls in to the noodles before digging in. If you have a thing for texture, this might not be your dish, but the flavor is awesome and we really enjoy it~ Salud!