On one of my many pinning rampages, I ran across a recipe for bean “meatballs.” It had some elements that were great and then others that I wanted to play around with. I took to the kitchen for a vegetarian take on the old standard comfort, Spaghetti and Meatballs. You can make these even richer by adding loads of parmesan cheese or even skip the beans all together and use your favorite meatball recipe. Either way, this is a great alternative to the original dish and I like that I can add an extra veggie to it by using my spiralizer to create noodle like strands of zucchini. Whoever invented the spiralizer should be kissed and given a shiny medal. He or she is a GENIUS! I’m 100% addicted to this little kitchen gadget.
Now, because you all have figured out that I’m slightly neurotic about homemade foods lately, I’m going to give the completely made from scratch version of this recipe as well as the shortcut version. Use whichever you like, they’ll both turn out about the same. Enjoy this Zucchini Noodles with Bean “Meatballs” and Marinara recipe
Zucchini Noodles with Bean “Meatballs” and MarinaraSERVES 6 PrintDownload
- 1 cup dried white beans, such as Cannelini. (use 2 15 oz cans for shortcut)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs (gluten free if need be)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 cups of your favorite Marinara sauce
- 3 zucchini
- special equipment: spiralizer
- If using dried beans, soak in 3 cups of water for 6 hours. Drain the water, rinse the beans and fill a medium size stockpot with water. Cook the beans over medium-high heat for about an hour to an hour and a half until they are tender. Drain the water and allow them to cool.
- In a food processor, combine the cooled beans, onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse in the processor until all the ingredients come together. Be careful not to over process or the mixture will liquify.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350. Take about 2 tablespoons full of the bean mixture and form them into little "meatballs." Place on the parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, spiralize the zucchini and set aside. In a medium sauté pan, heat up the marinara sauce to medium heat. When the meatballs are done cooking in the oven, add them to the sauce and allow them to cook a few more minutes in the sauce. About 10-15 minutes.
- For the zucchini noodles, you can serve them one of two ways. I usually cook them in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes like I would regular pasta. I like my zucchini noodles still a little on the crunchy side, but not raw. Or you can just leave them raw and allow the hot sauce and meatballs to slightly cook them.
- Using the leftover parmesan cheese, sprinkle a generous spoonful over the plated zucchini noodles and "meatballs."