I love Vegan Meatballs, they make a great supper. I know I should have spent hours coming up with my version of vegan mince. And maybe, just maybe, at some point I will experiment with quinoa, lentils, mushrooms, seitan, and seeds. But until that day comes, I just grab a couple of packets of vegan mince from Sainsbury’s or Waitrose.
I like Waitrose as it’s a nice mix of proteins, some of the more soya based vegan minces don’t seem to agree with me. The Waitrose mince does have gluten in it, The Meatless Farm from Sainsbury’s has Soya and Pea protein so if you’ve allergies it’s vital to read all the ingredients. Adding in a few ingredients to the mince to bind, and pack a bit more flavour in produces a really nice dinner of Vegan Meatballs and Spaghetti.
The thing with vegan meatballs is that they aren’t as firm as meat ones, so they are best baked, and handled with care. Once done they taste great, and mixed with Spaghetti and Tomato sauce they are a fab dinner. Add in a side salad and some vegan garlic bread and it’s as close to perfection as you can get.
I felt that the Vegan Meatballs were best placed on top of the Spaghetti and Tomato sauce, rather than mixed into the sauce as I’d do with a traditional meatball. That’s because they are more likely to fall apart, but it works just as well and you get that nice mix of flavours. The tomato sauce is our simple, tomato and basil sauce. It’s a great sauce to make and freeze for quick pasta dinners.
Vegan Meatballs and Spaghetti
For the Meatballs
- 2 Packs Vegan Mince (240g each). I used Waitrose, but there are lots out there
- 1 Small Onion (finely diced)
- 2 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 3 tbsp Fine Oats (to bind)
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- Salt and Pepper
For the Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 Tin Chopped Plum Tomatoes
- 6 Fresh Tomatoes
- 1 Onion (finely chopped)
- 4 large cloves Minced Garlic
- 4 tbsp Fresh Basil (chopped)
- 4 tbsp Sun Dried Tomatoes (chopped)
- Measure out your pasta and get a large pot ready to boil it in - about 125g per person.
- Make the spaghetti sauce and have it ready. Boil a kettle full of water, put the fresh tomatoes in a bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Wait 3 minutes and poke with a sharp knife. The skin should ripple away. Drain and peel the tomatoes. Roughly chop them up. Put to one side.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Fry until just translucent.
- Add the garlic to the onions for a minute or two. It’s important not to burn the garlic as it goes very bitter.
- Add the tinned, fresh tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Heat until simmering. Now add in the fresh basil, salt and pepper.
- Leave to simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering make the meatballs (BTW - you can add in some black olives, capers, or sliced mushrooms to the tomato sauce if you want to jazz it up).
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, 180°F. Empty the mince into a large bowl.
- Add in the chopped onion, garlic, oats and ketchup. Mix with your hands to combine all the ingredients and shape them into large meatballs.
- Heat a tray in the oven, with a bit of vegetable oil on it and then add the meatballs. Bake for 25 minutes, turning twice carefully so they don't break up.
- After 15 minutes, get the pasta water boiling and cook your spaghetti for 9-10 minutes until it still has a bit of a bite. Drain and mix with the sauce.
- Serve the spaghetti in bowls, and top with meatballs.