I called it the meatball marathon. Two batches of meatballs, one made from beef, the other chickpeas. I made extra to tuck away in the freezer for later use when I really don’t feel like cooking!
They are so easy to make and taste great. I switched the spices to a marinara blend that I have. I was in a hurry so I thought I would pan fry some of them in olive oil and then bake the rest in the oven. The ones that I baked in the oven were better. Definitely roll them in some olive oil before baking. The meatballs will hold their shape when warmed but if left to long in the sauce they will start to crumble.
*Make them on the smaller side and a small scoop will lighten the job!
1 1/2 Tbsp ground flaxseed plus 1/4 cup water
3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (Instant Pot works well here)
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup bread crumbs or gluten free oats finely ground (plus more if needed)
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for rolling
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp hot sauce optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Mix together 1/4 cup water and the ground flaxseeds in a bowl and set aside to gel. Place the chickpeas and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Don’t leave any big pieces of chickpeas.
Remove the mixture from the food processor and place in a bowl. Add the flaxseed mixture, bread crumbs, olive oil and spices. Mix well with your hands and if the mixture is a little too dry, add a bit more olive oil or water. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
Using your cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll into a ball, then place in a small dish of olive oil, roll a bit more than place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
To serve with pasta, cook pasta. Warm the sauce you are using and right before serving, stir together with the meatballs. Serve with the cooked pasta.
The recipe doesn’t call for pre-cooking the onions or garlic but I always do. I always sauté them both in a little oil until they are lightly brown. Adds a different flavour. To make them gluten-free process gluten-free oats in the food processor until finely chopped.
2 pounds medium ground beef
1/2 cup plain dry bed crumbs
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
1/2 cup milk or water
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
Handful of fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese just to blend. Add in the milk and briefly pulse. Let sit for 10 minutes as the bread absorbs the moisture. Add the onion, garlic and parsley, and pulse until mixed into a smooth paste. Add the egg, oregano, salt and pepper: pulse just to mix.
Toss the meat into a large bowl, and using your hands, break it down into smaller pieces. Add every drop of the egg mixture and mix thoroughly into a smooth, firm mixture.
Form into small balls and place on baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until lightly brown.