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
Preheat oven to 180C
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Once pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic and minced onion.
Sauté for 2 minutes, or until slightly golden brown, then remove from heat and turn off stove top.
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.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, The texture should be dough-like.
Scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough and carefully form into balls. Repeat until all meatballs are formed – about 12 or 13.
Roll/coat in parmesan cheese and arrange on baking sheet. Then, bake for 15 minutes, while you prepare your sauce.
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.
Remove meatballs from oven and let cool slightly – they will firm up the longer they are cooled. Serve with sauce. Best when fresh.