So naturally, after realizing the cooked lentil cheese in the lentil pizza tasted like meatballs, I had to try spaghetti with lentil meatballs. I’ve never made meatballs before (hell, I think in the two plus years I’ve lived in Seattle, I’ve only made spaghetti once), so I searched around for a few
recipes in an effort to get a general idea of how most people make them. Essentially, it is just ground meat mixed with a few herbs and spices, then coated in egg and breadcrumbs and browned in oil. Fairly straightforward. I also searched for sauce recipes and found one that I could assemble in the same pan after the meatballs had browned, simmering them for the remaining cooking time. As for pasta, I chose a whole wheat pasta to round out the earthy flavors of the lentil cheese and sauce.
The meatballs are actually pretty tasty. They are very very lean, so they can be a little bit dry, but they have a nice flavor. I think next time I may mix a little fat in with the meatball mix to help keep them moist. The pasta sauce is quite good and is certainly one that I would use again next time I get around to making pasta. Additionally, the recipe didn’t take too long and made enough for leftover lunches for almost the whole week. Other than the actual process of making the lentil cheese, it is a nice recipe for a quick, mid-week dinner. Enjoy!
Serves four to six
~1.5 lbs. lentil cheese (see lentil pizza post)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tsp dried parsley
1 egg or 1/2 cup egg nog
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small onion
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup stock (either beef or pork)
2 Tsp dried basil
1 Tsp anchovy paste (optional, but good)
1 lb. pasta, cooked
Combine the lentil cheese, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and 1 Tsp dried parsley in a large bowl. (As I mentioned above, you could try adding perhaps 2 oz. butter, broken into little pieces, into the mixture in an effort to keep the meatballs more moist, though I have not tried this.) Mix with your hands to combine and form lentils into tight balls about the size of a golf ball. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Dredge lentil balls in a beaten egg or egg nog, then in the bread crumbs and add to the skillet. Rotate each ball every 60-90 seconds until all sides have browned. Reduce heat to low and add remaining ingredients (except for the pasta). Stir gently to combine and let mingle for ~10 minutes. Serve atop pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan. Enjoy!