This dish can be enjoyed in different ways. You can make this tomato sauce and serve it with rice, pasta or in a lasagna.
You can also serve it with these (amazing) lentil meetballs.
Here below you will find the 2 recipes, separated. Both the sauce and the meetballs can be frozen to enjoy later. You can double quantities and make extra portions for future lunches or dinners.
Hearty tomato sauce
A hearty tomato sauce made with vegetables, legumes, stock and lots of love. Great to serve with meatballs, lasagna, rice or pasta.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 white or yellow onions, chopped small (280 gr)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped small
- 30 gr capers
- 3-4 carrots, chopped small (170 gr)
- 3 celery stems, chopped small (90 gr)
- 9 grated fresh (and ideally ripe) tomatoes or canned tomatoes (if they're not in season) (730 gr) Use a cheese grater to grate them
- 1 tsp honey, syrup or sugar
- 1 pinch salt, black pepper, dried oregano and thyme
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce (do not use if adding stock)
- 250 gr cooked lentils or chickpeas
- 1 cup stock or water (250 ml)
I would recommend to chop all ingredients first, before starting the cooking process. It takes 10-15 mins and it makes the cooking so fluent and non-rushed.
Set a large pot or saucepan to medium heat. Pour the oil and, once it's hot but not smoking, add the onions. Stir to coat in oil.
When the onions are softened and transparent, dd the garlic, stir well. Cook for 3-4 mins. Add the capers, carrots and celery. Mix and cook for 10 mins.
Add your fresh tomatoes (or canned ones) to the pot, stir and cook for another 10 mins.
Add the honey, salt, herbs and tamari sauce. Mix well and cook for 5 mins.
Add your choice of legume (lentils or chickpeas work the best) and the stock or water. Mix well, increase the heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 mins. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper or herbs if needed, or more water/stock if it's too thick for your taste.
Blend half of the mixture and return to the pot, if you like it chunky. If you prefer a smooth sauce, blend it all. Serve with meatballs, in a lasagna, with rice or pasta.
To store, first let the sauce cool down. Then place in tupperware and leave in the fridge – for up to 3 days. You can also freeze it and place it in the fridge 12-24h before you plan to use it.
[Scroll down for the Lentil meetball recipe ]
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 celery stems finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried rosemary or thyme
- 6 mushrooms chopped
- 150 gr cooked lentils
- 1 handful spinach or chard leaves
- 100 gr oats
- 75 gr walnuts
- 50 gr grated parmesan or tofu
- 3 eggs
- salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat up the oil in a pan to medium heat, add the onion and stir until they begint o soften. Add the garlic and stir. Cook for 2-3 mins.
Add the celery, carrot, dried herbs and mix, let it cook for 5 mins.
Add the sliced mushrooms and let it cook for another 5 mins.
Using a food processor or hand blender, blend the sautéed vegetables with the other ingredients, until you get a chunky-like texture. Place in a bowl, flatten the surface of the dough and let it rest in the fridge for 20-30 mins. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Shape the dough into balls, place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Bake them for 30-35 mins at 180ºC, flipping them after 20 mins to allow even cooking. You can bake them all or freeze some of the meetballs for some other time!
Serve along with a sauce, along with pasta or rice.
If cooked – leave in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
If frozen – place in a bag and consume within 3 months. Remember to bake them like mentioned above.
Where to find cooking inspiration?
Many times friends have asked me where I get the inspiration and ideas for the dishes I cook. The answer is usually a mix between
My own hunger and food phantasies
Some delicious idea I saw on someone’s book or website
What is in season and/or available in my fridge
A while ago I started putting together all those websites, people, books and resources that have helped me in the past. There are moments when I have no idea what to cook, and my own inner hunger inspiration is just not there… This is when the cooking inspiration page comes in handy. I invite you to take a look and check out some of the brilliant minds and bellies behind the webs, books and blogs.
These recipes are two of my favourite discoveries of the year, when it comes to comfort food. I absolutely love meatballs, and since I stopped eating meat, I haven’t quite tried or tasted any meetballs that I have come to love.
I found them while skimming through Being Biotiful‘s first book. I was immediately drawn to the image of that dark, velvety, slowly cooked tomato sauce. The lentil balls where a happy bonus. As soon as I tried them, I was immediately hooked.
Despite them being moaning-level delicious, I am going to try to keep my cool and will not URGE YOU to make this sauce and meetballs at home. Nope, keeping it casual this time.
But if you do cook them, I will say this:
Close your eyes, savour every moment, you only live once.
I just realised, I am going to say this to you anyways, whether you make the sauce, the balls or no recipe at all.
And as Porky Pig used to say, that’s all folks! Have a wonderful rest of the week. Comments, questions or suggestions are always welcome.