Recipe by: Jazzy Vegetarian
This classic Italian-American staple, made vegan, will certainly impress your family. Walnuts and pecans, combined with mashed chickpeas and Italian-style flavorings, make for an easy and surprisingly realistic “meatball”! If you want to keep it gluten-free, use certified gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats and gluten-free spaghetti in this recipe. Serve with a simple salad and crusty bread and you have a hearty, kiddo-friendly meal.
Makes: 4 servings
- 1½ tablespoons PAPA VINCE EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, divided
- 1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces
- ½ cup pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon PAPA VINCE SEA SALT
- 1⁄3 cup gluten-free, quick cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed, if canned
- 1⁄3 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons PAPA VINCE TOMATO SAUCE or prepared vegan marinara sauce, divided
- ¾ pound (12 ounces) whole-grain spaghetti or PAPA VINCE WHOLE WHEAT PASTA
How to make
(1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper with ½ tablespoon olive oil.
(2) Put the walnuts, pecans, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a blender (or food processor), and process into coarse crumbs. Transfer the walnut mixture to a large bowl. Add the rolled oats and stir to combine.
(3) Put the chickpeas, onion, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the blender, and process into a very chunky purée. Add the chickpea mixture to the walnut mixture and stir to incorporate. Add 3 tablespoons marinara sauce and stir to combine.
(4) Spoon out about 3 tablespoons of the walnut–chickpea mixture and roll it into a compact ball. Continue in this way to make 12 to 14 “meatballs.” Arrange the “meatballs” on the lined pan, rolling each in a bit of the olive oil that is coating the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more, or until the “meatballs” are firm and golden. (Gently rotate each “meatball” halfway through cooking.)
(5) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta or spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti. Meanwhile, put 2 cups of tomato or marinara sauce in a medium saucepan and heat to simmering.
(6) To serve, put one-quarter of the pasta into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three “meatballs.” Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.
Recipe from JAZZY VEGETARIAN: Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious, 10th Anniversary Edition by Laura Theodore, © 2011/2022. Distributed by Book Publishing Company. Reprinted with permission. Photo credits: Laura Theodore.