Vegetarian Lentil and Chestnut Meatballs with Tomato Sauce
“Chestnut puree makes an excellent base for a ball to rival mince for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Transforming this from mixture to balls is a super social occasion in the kitchen; it’s quite amazing how much fun rolling a handful of mince with others can be. You can make the balls vegan by leaving out the egg yolk, it just makes them a little more fragile. Serve with pasta, giant couscous, quinoa, potatoes or bread.”
Suitable for dairy-free and vegetarians
- 200g pouch of Merchant Gourmet Chestnut Puree
- 1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes with their juice
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 250g Merchant Gourmet Simply Cooked Puy Lentils
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 tbsp sliced parsley, plus 2 tbsp to finish
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- A little flour for dusting your hands
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 200ml water, or vegetable stock for a more intense flavour
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Prep ahead The balls and sauce can be made and completely cooked 2 days ahead.
1.Start with the tomato sauce. Get a large shallow pan. Add the onions and olive oil. Sweat for 6-7 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the tinned tomato and water. Simmer gently while you make the chestnut balls.
2.Get a large bowl. Add the chestnut puree, breadcrumbs, cooked lentils, chopped garlic, 4 tbsp sliced parsley and the egg yolk. Season to taste. Squeeze the mixture. Roll it into 28 balls.
3.Add the chestnut balls to the simmering sauce in a single layer. Brush the balls with the sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes, brushing the balls 3 times. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top.
4.Serve with pasta or bread.
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