I was looking through foodgawker when I came upon this vegetarian recipe from In Jennie's Kitchen. Jennie's "meatballs" looked enticing and I thought it was interesting that her motivation for using lentils was not simply health or ethics, but to make a more affordable version of meatballs. I totally agree that you wouldn't miss the meat in these hardy "meatballs".
Lentil-Ricotta "Meatballs" - Serves 3 or 4
Adapted from In Jennie's Kitchen.
I decided to add a cheesy surprise inside the "meatballs" but they are totally optional and would still taste great without! I had a bit of trouble frying them because they stuck to the pan (probably because I don't use enough oil!). Instead, I baked them and it worked out great!
* 1 cup cooked lentils (cook about ¼ cup of dry lentils)
* 1 large egg, lightly beaten
* ⅓ cup plain breadcrumbs
* ¼ cup fresh ricotta
* 2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
* 1-½ teaspoon chopped parsley (I use some dried flakes)
* salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* mozzarella, cut into small cubes (if you want a cheesy middle!)
* oil, for frying
Cook lentils and let them cool down.
Purée lentils in a food processor.
Add all the ingredients, except for the mozzarella, into a large bowl.
Mix very well, using hands or a wooden spoon.
Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Place a tablespoon or so of the mixture onto your hand and flatten into a disk.
Put a piece of the mozzarella cheese and shape the lentil mixture around into a ball.
Fry the "meatballs" in oil until brown.
Alternatively, drizzle oil on a baking dish and bake the "meatballs" until brown.
Serve with homemade tomato sauce and your favourite pasta.
I cooked too much lentils so I cut the amount in half.
My piece of cheese may have been a bit too large! Can you have too much cheese?
Before and after cooking the "meatballs".
I liked the gooey cheese in the middle!
For other vegetarian pasta dishes:
* Eggplant Parmesan
* Eggplant Rollatini
* Mushroom Ravioli
* Pumpkin Ravioli
* Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Rolls
* Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells
* Truffle Macaroni & Cheese
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