Lentil Meatballs in Pomodoro Sauce

Lentil Meatballs in Pomodoro Sauce

  • 45 ml olive oil

  • 1 medium onion (minced)

  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 egg* or vegan substitute

  • 1 x 400g tin brown/green lentils

  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

  • Big handful fresh Italian parsley

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 100g parmesan cheese (or vegan sub)

  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 Tbsp breadcrumbs

  • 60 ml (4 tablespoons) olive oil

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 15g basil leaves

  • 1 x 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes

  • Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp (7g) ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tbsp (37 ml) water

  1. Preheat oven to 180C

  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and line a baking sheet with parchment.

  3. Once pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic and minced onion.

  4. Sauté for 2 minutes, or until slightly golden brown, then remove from heat and turn off stove top.

  5. To a food processor, add egg, cooked lentils, 1 tsp olive oil, sautéed garlic and onion, Italian seasonings, parsley, tomato paste, 60g parmesan cheese (keep the rest for coating the outside) breadcrumbs and a pinch each salt and pepper. Pulse, mixing until combined, but not puréed, leaving a little texture.

  6. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, The texture should be dough-like.

  7. Scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough and carefully form into balls. Repeat until all meatballs are formed – about 12 or 13.

  8. Roll/coat in parmesan cheese and arrange on baking sheet. Then, bake for 15 minutes, while you prepare your sauce.

  9. Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 5 minutes; stir in basil. Add tomatoes, crushing with a fork as you go; season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick. About 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  10. Remove meatballs from oven and let cool slightly – they will firm up the longer they are cooled. Serve with sauce. Best when fresh.