Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fresh Spaghetti with Vegetarian Meatballs

I've never had a meatball, or a vegetarian meatball. I've always thought to myself I'd like to try to make them at some point but never got around to it. I think meatballs are so cute, I don't know why, maybe the song, "on top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese..." or that children's book, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", or the adorable little meatballs with eyes and smiles that are on children's menus at Italian restaurants?

If you don't eat meat or just want to try some vegetarian meatballs or "vegballs" here is a great recipe to start with. This is my take on a recipe I saw at allrecipes...

Vegetarian Italian Style Meatballs:

4 eggs
1 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup pecans
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoons salt
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I made them with fresh Italian bread I toasted and then crumbed up in the food processor)

This is a super easy recipe that can be done completely in a large food processor.

Chop pecans.

Add toasted Italian bread, about 4 slices, or 2 cups of breadcrumbs.

Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse together until well blended.

Here is what your mixture will look like, spray your hands with cooking spray or olive oil and roll into 2 inch balls.

Place balls into prepared 9 by 13 glass dish. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

From there you can simmer in sauce for a few minutes and serve with your spaghetti! I did use Ina's sauce recipe featured with her Meatballs recipe...

1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, or plum tomatoes in puree, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (used dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

I added 1 tablespoon sugar, I always do with sauce, it's the way I've learned growing up -- the sugar helps with the tomato acidity...apparently. I've also heard that the sugar 'trick' is nothing more than bad advice. But I like to add it anyway.

I figured why not go all out for Barefoot Bloggers this week and make my own spaghetti. I used my lello pastamaster 3000 and the recipe on the back of Bob's Red Mill Semolina Flour ( recipe here ) + 1/2 cup bread flour. The spaghetti turned out perfectly!

Here are a couple bread shots...I made the Italian bread ( recipe here -- changes were to use 3 teaspoons yeast and bake in the oven 350 for 35 minutes after a 30 minute rise post shaping) this morning just to be able to have some fresh breadcrumbs for my vegetarian meatballs (vegballs).

The second loaf was great with our meal, and I also have plenty left for some more homemade breadcrumbs.

Now I have a special little treat to get you in the mood for Valentine's Day -- chocolates!

Don't those look wonderful? I was so excited when See's Candies asked if I would like to sample some of their chocolates and write about them here at Nummy Kitchen. Of course I would! Soon this sweetly wrapped box of chocolates arrived and we were all in chocolate heaven.

Look at that variety! I had to cut them all in half for a chocolate sampling with my three very excided little ones. Don't worry, we didn't eat the whole box at once. But we did all enjoy the homemade taste of See's chocolates. The fillings were delicious, my favorite was the ultra moist coconut, no dry stuff here, you can tell that these were fresh chocolates.

Chocolate in dino jammies, what could be better? I don't know, and neither did my youngest, he was pretty happy with those chocolates. If you are looking for Valentine's Day gifts for someone special, or for yourself (nothing wrong with that :) ), I would highly suggest See's Candies. We were all very happy with our See's chocolate treats!

I will leave you all with one last shot of my first ever meat free "meatballs" -- what a fun Barefoot Bloggers pick!


The Food Librarian said...

This looks divine! I can't believe everything was handmade! Even the pasta. The meatballs look perfect. And See's candy is my favorite. Founded in Southern California, it is a treat for all Los Angeles families. The caramel rounds (two to a cup) are my favorite. It looks like you enjoyed them!!

Suzie said...

You are amazing - homemade bread, pasta and vegetairan meatballs. I am feeling majorly inadequate! Glad you enjoyed and I love the pic of your little one.

Anonymous said...

You really DID go all out for BB... love it!

Maria said...

What a meal!! Everything looks fantastic from start to finish! I love the chocolate mouth too! Super cute!! Happy V-day to you!

Anonymous said...

I am OUTRAGED at such rudeness to a 7 year old vegetarian babe! I mean seriously. What kind of buttheads would be SO INCREDIBLY AWFUL to a CHILD! Andrea... my blood pressure seriously rose when I read that. Probably because I know and love you... but STILL.

Anywho. We have a Sees candy here at Nebraska Furniture Mart (the on in Kansas... because that's how we roll.) I've never had their chocolates... but they look divine if you're into that sort of thing.


PS: Glad you got to try vegballs.

Megan said...

How sad that those mean parents flipped out over a meatball! Talk about rude!

The vegballs are very interesting, and you really went all out - fresh pasta and bread! Can I move in?

Spike said...

I like the veggie version and I love cloudy with a chance of meatballs!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

I love regular meatballs, but these look like a great change. And can I tell you how impressed I am with the homemade EVERYTHING in this dish? Whew, sit down and have yourself a chocolate. or three!

NKP said...

Veggie meatballs, they sound great and I love that you can make them in a food processor - I should try them for my veggie daughter.
The chocolates sound really good too - I don't think we get those up here.

DIY Daily Darling! said...

Wow, Andrea you truly are impressive and on top of that you are impressive enough to catch the attention of someone at See's Candies to have them ask you to sample and talk about their product. How incredible is that! How did you have a contact with them for them to ask you to do that? And as always very impressed at your energy and skills to make homemade everything. Where do you store all your machines and makers? Oh by the way I started a food blog (not as impressive as yours, mostly a recipie book for me) feel free to check it out My nickname is Oatmeal so I used it for my food blog.
Your blueberry pie girl.

DIY Daily Darling! said...

Correction to my food blog the title is Oat's Meals however the blog name is lol it is late and I am a tired girl, sorry.

Anonymous said...

How interesting, pecans in veggie "meat"balls. Neat that you made your own pasta!

Judy said...

Isn't homemade pasta the best? When I was in possession of spinach powder, I used to make all kinds of pasta shapes. And the vegetarian meatballs look and sound delicious. Great job with your rendition of the challenge.

Laura said...

Made a "loose" version of this last night for Valentines day dinner. Didn't make fresh pasta though. :) My vegballs had a bit too much liquid so when I baked them they ended up looking like cookies rather than balls :) but they still tasted delicious. Will definitely use this recipe in the future.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Organic Gardens Network™ said...

I am happy I found this recipe. Being vegetarian for 16 years I have missed meat balls. This recipe will definitely fit the bill. I can't wait to make them. I also might try making a "meatloaf" with it too. Thank you!

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