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Year of the Noodle: Week 36

John likes the ugly ones.

Wait, that didn’t make me sound very good.  I’m talking about tomatoes here.  When we go to the market, he always wants to take home the ugliest heirloom tomato you have ever seen.  Not just the lumpy ones or the oddly colored, but the ones that have grown into a shape you don’t know how to slice and a color that would make a sauce that people would turn down.  The really ugly ones.  Fortunately I deterred him from the super weird ones this past weekend, and we ended up with some pale pink and lumpy heirlooms perfect for my tomato sauce.

I really wanted to make homemade spaghetti and meatballs entirely from scratch.  I didn’t make the noodles from scratch so I could focus on the sauce and meatballs.  I think the last time I made meatballs was as a kid with my grandmother.  (Don’t get too nostalgic, I’m pretty sure they were just ground beef and breadcrumbs and went into a dish called Tater Tot Casserole.  My grandmother was a terrible cook.)  So I had little room for comparison for these meatballs, but I thought they turned out really well.  A little garlicky, but yummy.  Even better leftover the next day.  Enjoy!

Vegetarian Meatballs
Ingredients
  •  7 oz. (half of 14-oz. pkg.) soy sausage substitute, such as Gimme Lean (1 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish, optional
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Coat large skillet with olive oil cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Roll soy sausage mixture into 12 balls, about 2 Tbs. each.
  3. Cook meatballs 5 to 6 minutes, or until evenly browned. Add to sauce and let simmer 3 to 5 minutes to let flavors meld.
Tomato Sauce
Ingredients
  • 6-8 cloves organic garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ chopped white onion (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons organic dried oregano
  • Handful fresh organic basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 6-7 large Organic Roma tomatoes
  • ¼ cup, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
Directions
  1. In medium pot, boil water. Add tomatoes for roughly 1 minute or until skin begins to peel. Quickly remove and add to ice water. Peel skins and blend tomatoes in a food processor or by hand for a chunkier alternative.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, add onion, garlic, salt, and dried oregano. Stir until flavors are well-blended, but do not let garlic darken. Add in tomatoes and crush down any large piece with a fork. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes to an hour. Once completed, mix into pasta. Add whole basil leaves as garnish and/or stir in chopped basil.

Source: Vegetarian Times and Organic Soul

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