Baked Spaghetti & Meat free Meatballs

Spaghetti in a creamy tomato sauce, topped with meat free meatballs and a blend of two different melted vegan cheeses.  I chose to make the meatballs myself using my classic seitan recipe, but you could choose to buy them instead. I’ll include the recipe though, should you wish to make them too. If you’re thinking to yourself “but it’s too hot to be cooking” do any of your friends or family owe you a favour? Perhaps that could be repaid through the medium of food, that way you get food without having to cook it, and you can feast on the leftovers later. Win win!

For the meatballs;

You’ll need;

  1. 200g/7oz vital wheat gluten
  2. 40g/1.4oz chickpea flour
  3. 30g/1oz nutritional yeast
  4. One tablespoon of the following, dried basil, dried oregano, smoked paprika, onion granules, garlic powder
  5. 300ml hot water
  6. One tablespoon of the following; tomato puree, fish free worcestershire sauce
  7. 50ml light soy sauce

Method;

  • Add the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, mix until well combined
  • Add the wet ingredients into a jug, mix well until the tomato puree has fully dissolved
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl, mix until a dough forms
  • Knead the dough for three or four minutes
  • Separate into 10 equally sized pieces. Roll each one into a ball then wrap in cling film, foil or muslin, then tie off the ends. Foil would probably be the easiest, as there would be no need to tie the ends, instead simply tightly twist them closed
  • Then bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the seitan balls then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until the balls feel firmish and springy to the touch
  • Once cooked, unwrap and leave to cool

For the creamy tomato sauce;

You’ll need;

  1. One teaspoon of non-dairy margarine
  2. Three cloves of garlic, chopped
  3. One brown onion, sliced
  4. One tablespoon of tomato puree
  5. One 400g/14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
  6. One teaspoon of both dried basil and dried oregano
  7. Two tablespoons of non-dairy soft cheese
  8. A pinch of demerara sugar
  9. Salt and black pepper to taste

Method;

  • In a small saucepan over a medium heat, melt the margarine. Once melted add the garlic and cook for one minute before adding the onion
  • Leave to cook for five minutes, until the onion softens. Then mix through the tomato puree and cook for another minute
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes, herbs, soft cheese and pinch of sugar. I always fill the empty tin of tomatoes about a third full of cold water, then give it a swirl and add it in too, I just don’t like to waste anything. Then cover the saucepan with a lid and leave to simmer for ten minutes
  • Once everything is cooked through, use a blender or immersion blender to blend the sauce until it’s smooth

On to assembling the dish;

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Yield; Five large servings (600kcal per serving) Cook time; 25 minutes

You’ll need;

  1. The meatballs you made earlier (or purchase meat free meatballs instead)
  2. The creamy tomato sauce you made earlier
  3. 350g/12oz (dry weight) spaghetti
  4. 50g/1.7oz dairy-free mature cheddar (I use ASDA free from mature cheese alternative)
  5. 75g/2.5oz dairy-free mozzarella (I used Tesco free from mozzarella alternative)

Method;

  • Boil the spaghetti as per the instructions on the packet. While that’s cooking preheat  your grill to 160ºC/320ºF or just set it to medium low, dairy-free cheese melts better at a lower temperature
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain away the water and return it to the pot you boiled it in, but keep it off the heat. Pour over the sauce you made earlier and mix until well combined
  • Add the spaghetti and sauce into an ovenproof dish, neatly lay the meatballs on top, and evenly scatter over the cheese
  • Heat under the grill until the cheese melts, it should take around 10 minutes. Then slice into the spaghetti for easier serving, then spoon into dishes

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