Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Vegetarian Meatballs


As I was out of action for the last few days sick, Jai was the chef of the house. He was managing the show with omelette and simple stir-fries. As I have got well now, I am getting so many requests from Aishwarya and Jai for their favorite foods.
This spinach ricotta veggie balls with spaghetti was what Aishwarya wanted. This is the vegetarian version of spaghetti and meatballs. Try this and and if you love Italian cuisine as we do, this would be a winner for you.
Ingredients:
Veggie balls
1 Cup ricotta cheese
1 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 1/2-2 Cups Italian breadcrumbs (plus some for rolling)
4 Eggs
1/2 medium sized onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 or 2 jalapeno
1 tbs coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper
Olive oil and butter
cilantro

Sauce:
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
1tbs of red pepper flakes (opt.)
1 pound pasta ( whole grain spaghetti.)
Method:
Cook onion ,garlic,jalapeno along with butter and olive oil.When the onion turns translucent add coriander powder,cumin powder,curry powder,turmeric and cilantro, cook this for another minute till the powders are cooked.Remove from heat and let it cool.
Mean while chop the spinach and stir it in with the cheeses.If possible use a fine grater to grate the Parmesan so it kind of melts into the veggie balls.
Mix this all together  along with the cooked and cooled onion mix and add eggs and enough bread crumbs to pull it together. About 1 1/2 Cups should be enough but if you used very large eggs you might need an extra 1/2 Cup. Stir this all together but try to keep the mixture nice and light. Make a ball using about a heaping tablespoon of the mixture. Make sure it holds together, but try not to press it together too much. Then roll the ball in some extra breadcrumbs and add it to a baking sheet lined with foil.
You can either bake this or pan fry it. If you want to pan fry, just add a bit of oil to a large skillet and add the veggie balls over medium high heat. Cook and turn until all the balls are lightly browned all around.If you’re baking them, which is also delicious, then add all the balls to the baking sheet and drizzle on a bit of oil over each one.You should end up with about 30 veggie balls.Bake them at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so.They should be nice and golden brown when you pull them out!

For the sauce.
In a medium-large pot, heat oil and then all your diced onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then add diced tomatoes,followed by oregano, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes and as it gets thick, add a bit more water to keep it saucy. The tomatoes will break down a bit after a few minutes.If you like a smooth sauce you can puree the sauce.Taste it and adjust it to your liking.When you’re about ready to serve this dish, add the veggie balls straight into the sauce.
Then serve the sauce and veggie balls over some cooked pasta.

11 comments:

  1. Omg, am in love with those balls, irresistible and inviting dish.

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  2. Wow ! Wow !!! Love this...
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  3. Very tempting ..delicious meat balls

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  4. looks so healthy and yummy dear..

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  5. cheesy n delicious meat balls...lovely preparation!

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  6. Healthy and delicious looking meat balls..and loved the bowl...looks very yum..

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