Wow that is quite a mouthfull for the name of a simple recipe!
I wanted to bring the vegetarian version of meatballs to a banquet where they served meatballs. The organizers decided that the vegetarian alternative would be to leave out the meat; however, most vegetarians like protein so leaving out the meat is not a solution. This challenge got me this amazing recipe though so no complaints.
These beanballs are mouthwatering, my corgi thinks they are meat. How do I know he likes it? He starts putting out his paw to shake my hand without being asked and he licks his bowl for another 10 minutes after he finished eating hoping he can find some more.
Let’s talk about the cannellini beans briefly. They are the main ingredient and with their high protein content they replace the meat easily.
These beans originated in South America, most likely in Peru or Argentina. Today, they are popular all over the world but surely are a vital part of the Northern Italian cuisine. They are part of the kidney bean family so with its kidney supporting qualities they are beneficial during the winter time. Also, there is evidence that these beans help with diabetes and weight loss.
When trying to find a replacement for meatballs, cannellini beans seemed like the perfect choice. These nutty, earthy and savory flavored beans are a fabulous addition to this Italian staple. They taste more like chestnuts so they really add a lot of flavor to the dish. I would suggest to make the beans at home from scratch rather than buying the canned version. I could taste the difference for sure.
Enjoy this tasty dish!
Makes 10 beanballs (2 inch in diameter). I usually end up doubling the recipe if I cook for the family.
- a heaping 1/2 cup of dried cannellini beans (1 can)
- 1 yellow onion, graded
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- a handful of pistachio nuts, chopped
- a handfull of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 tomatoe sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning,
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bayleaf
- salt and peper to taste
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1 Qt jar of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp fennel, ground
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp chilli pepper
- Soak beans overnight or at least for 8 hours. Cook them for 2 hours or until done.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Boil a big pot of water and cook spagetty according to its instructions.
- Coat a baking sheet with a thin film of oil.
- Put the beans in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. You can use a food prossesor for this step.
- Add the rest of the ingredients chopped pistaccio nuts, 1 egg, breadcrubs, oil, tomato sauce, parsley, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic cloves and onions.
- Mix well
- Using about 2 Tbsp portion of the mixture, form balls by rolling between the palms of your hands.
- Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet evenly spaced.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the balls have a nice golden brown color on the outside.
- While the beanballs are baking, prepare the tomato sauce. Choose your favorite Pasta sause, add 1/4 basmatic vinegar, 1 bayleaf, 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning, garlic and salt to taste. Cook for 10 minutes. Serve with the beanballs.
- Serve warm with tomato sauce and spaghetti.
Receipe, photos, text by twincitiesherbs.com.