1 box of firm tofu
2 cups borlotti beans
minced garlic to taste (lots!!)
minced chili to taste (lots!!)
approx 3 cups of seasoned flour
1 large Spanish onion
herbs - parsley, basil, oregano, marjoram, sage (for seasoning the flour)
2-3 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
sea salt and black pepper
I was just away with my folks for the weekend and my mum cooked linguini with tomato sauce with optional meatballs for the meateaters (they've always been amazingly good with my dietary habits - hope they're this understanding when I come out!) and watching those balls of beef sizzling in the pot I wondered if I could make a suitable substitute for meatballs to have with pasta. So I whipped this up tonight, found it delicious and decided to share.
1. Prepare the barlotti beans. If you've soaked them over night, simmer them for about a half an hour. If not, simmer them for about an hour on medium heat until they're super tender.
2. Drain the tofu, add it and the beans to a blender, and blend them all together into a big mush!!
3. Transfer this mixture to a big bowl.
4. Chop the onion finely and add it to the beans & tofu mixture. At this point also add the garlic and chili. Mix really thoroughly.
5. Season your flour by grinding the salt and pepper into it, then add the herbs. I use pre-dried, ground herbs obviously.
6. Add about two-thirds of the flour to the meatball mixture and mix it all up reeeeeeaaaallll good. Get your hands into it and mix it all up with your fingers. Those of you who were once meat-eaters will notice how much more pleasant this is than doing it with minced beef. You can lick the raw mix off your fingers afterwards without worrying as well!
7. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then begin shaping the mixture into little balls. The larger the balls, the more quickly they fall apart, I noticed. Also, roll them in the remains of the flour before adding them to the pan.
8. Cook until nice brown on both sides, then serve with pasta of your choice and a rich, tomato pasta sauce!