Spaghetti and Balls, not meat balls because well, they aren’t obviously. However the flavour (if I may say so myself) is pretty spot on. The trick with this is that I used a pretty strong smoked firm tofu, which gives it a pretty meaty flavour. The texture is much softer but it also does come pretty close. I tried frying them in oil the traditional way with the intention of simmering them in the tomato sauce but with these ones the oven is the way to go, because it will make them hold together which the pan frying method won’t.
This dish is perfect to charm even the most hardcore meat lover with a great and flavourful vegan dish and you can easily make large quantities of this dish if you’re having the whole family over.
- 400g of spaghetti
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
for the balls:
- 3 cups or 520g of cooked brown lentils
- 250g of strongly smoked firm tofu
- 3 tbsp of olive oil + some extra for brushing
- 3 tbsp of tamari
- 3 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp psylium husk seeds
- 1/2 cup or 50g of oats
for the tomato sauce:
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp of dry basil
- 1/2 tbsp of turkish pepper
- 2 1/2 cups or 625 ml of diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
for the cheese sauce:
- 1 cup of soaked cashews
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- ca. 1/4 cup or 60ml of unsweetend pant based milk
- ca 1/4 cup or 60ml of water
- Start by making the “meat” balls. Preheat the oven t 180C. Place the oats into the food processor and pulse a few times until a course meal forms. Then add 2 cups of the lentils and all the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and now stir in the remaining lentils and let the mixture set for about 10 mins.
- Next for the mix into 18 equally sized balls and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Now brush the balls with oil and bake for 20-25 mins, turning them half way.
- While the balls are in the oven. Chop the onion into fine pieces and cook in the olive oil until slightly golden, then add the basil, pepper and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Next add the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil and then let it simmer until you are ready to serve.
- Cook the spaghetti as per instructions on the pack.
- For the cheese sauce simply add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- To serve mix the spaghetti in with the tomato sauce add the balls on top, drizzle with some of the cashew sauce and then garnish with some fresh basil leaves.