I’ve been seeing vegetarian meatballs on Pinterest and the web for quite some time, and have become rather intrigued by the concept. Being a long term veggie who never really liked meat in the first place, I’ve never eaten a traditional meatball and the whole idea seems rather bizarre to me. However, these little bites were a real success – that sweet/savoury combination giving quite deep, complex flavour, and only a bit beetroot ‘earthy’, all complimenting pasta and tomato sauce surprisingly well.
They could work in a number of ways – here on pasta, or as a sausage alternative, even in sandwiches. Give them a go – I was very surprised, and they got a huge thumbs up from my omnivorous partner too. Not bad for a recipe that largely, I made up as I went along, using what I had in the fridge.
Beetballs (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
makes 12, serves 4
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 4 cooked beetroots, roughly chopped (fine if marinated in vinegar)
- 4 mushroom, chopped
- 2 tbsps nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices of bread, blitzed to breadcrumbs (half kept aside)
- 1/2 tsp salt or 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Pulse the onion, beetroot and mushrooms in a food processor until well chopped
- add the other ingredients and pulse until well combined
- taste and adjust the flavours as necessary
- let sit in a fridge for at least 1/2 an hour
- pour the remaining half of the breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl.
- roll the mix into 12 even sized balls. rolling each in the breadcrumbs to finish.
- chill to firm up
- Fry in a small amount of sunflower oil until golden all over. Set aside.
- whilst cooking the pasta and your regular tomato sauce, reheat the balls in a medium oven to heat through.
- Serve on top of the pasta and tomato sauce, drizzled with a little extra sauce