Monday, 4 November 2013

Lentil 'Meatballs' and Tomato Sauce

I love taking inspiration from other food blogs - in terms of both style and content. I have already mentioned one of my favourite blogs, The Stone Soup on here - not only is Jules very knowledgeable about her subject, but she has a great style that I love reading. Plus all of her recipes come with tweaks, so even when she blogs about a meat or fish-based dish, she gives pointers on how to make it vegetarian or vegan. Her recipes are also nice and simple, which is always a plus! But another thing I love about her blog is how interactive it is - lots of readers always comment on her recipes, and - perhaps following her lead - are always keen to share how they have tweaked the recipe to suit their own needs or tastes. The end result is an amazing melting pot of culinary ideas based around a common dish, which I find so inspirational.

Last night's dinner was an amalgamation of one of Jules's recipes and one of Heidi Swanson's. Jules had blogged about lentil balls as an alternative to meatballs, and one of the commenters mentioned that they had made Heidi's Five-Minute Tomato Sauce to accompany the lentil balls. The sauce sounded so amazing that I just had to try both it and the lentil balls (that I keep accidentally referring to as meatballs....slips off the tongue more easily, doesn't it?!) and I was really impressed with both and just had to share this recipe with you. (David really enjoyed it too, so it has also passed the 'meat-eater test'.)

Lentil 'Meatballs' and Tomato Sauce

(Serves 2)


115g dried brown lentils
500ml vegetable stock
3 tbsps olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp lemon juice
75g ground almonds
1 medium egg
150g dried spaghetti


Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC Put the lentils in a medium pan and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. Put the olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and garlic in a pan and gently heat until the aromas are released - don't let the garlic brown. At this point, add the tomatoes, and bring to a gentle simmer. Crush any larger pieces of tomato between the side of the pan and the stirring spoon. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice. Pour the sauce into an oven-proof bowl and set to one side. Once your lentils have finished cooking, drain them, put them in a bowl and rougroughly mash them. Add the ground almonds and the egg, and mix well. Once everything is well combined, use a soup spoon to help form the lentil mixture into medium-sized balls, and place the balls into the tomato sauce. Drizzle with a glug of olive oil. Bake the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, put the spaghetti into a large pan of boiling water and cook until tender (about 10 minutes). Serve the lentil balls and tomato sauce on top of the spaghetti for a tasty, filling dinner.

To serve, Jules suggests sprinkling with parmesan, which I forgot to do, but that would definitely be really tasty!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think...!