This delicious recipe combines herby and flavorsome "meatballs" with a rich and luxurious Italian tomato sauce and deliciously creamy cauliflower mash. The other awesome thing about the elements of this recipe is that every single one can be used in a different guise as well. So once you've mastered it, it's guaranteed you'll want to whip out the individual elements in a different form for your next meal.

Italian ‘Meatballs’ With Cauliflower Mash [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

For the Italian "Meatballs":

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 10.5 ounces tofu, pulsed in food processor
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • A large handful fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt/kelp salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, for frying

For the Italian Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2  14-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
  • A large handful fresh thyme/oregano/basil (you can also use dried if you don't have fresh on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt/kelp salt

For the Creamy Cauliflower Mash:

  • 1 large cauliflower, in florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons canned coconut cream/milk
  • 1 teaspoon pink rock salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

For the Cashew Parmesan:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink rock salt
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Preparation

To Make the Italian "Meatballs":

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or large bowl, then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm. In the meantime, make the tomato sauce.
  2. After 15 minutes have passed,  roll meatballs into golf ball-sized balls, then fry in oil in 2-3 batches for around 10 minutes until brown and crispy on both sides. Add your second measure of oil for the second batch so they don't stick. Set balls aside on a plate in a single layer to cool slightly (they will get nice and firm here).
  3. Set balls aside on a plate in a single layer to cool slightly (they will get nice and firm here).

To Make the Tomato Sauce:

  1. Sauté onion and garlic in oil until transparent and fragrant, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is thick, rich and slightly sweet. Blend in a food processor, then return to the pan (switched off) to wait.

To Make the  Cauliflower Mash:

  1. Steam cauliflower until very soft (10-15 minutes), then blend in a food processor until smooth. Return to pan with the remaining mash ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. You can blend again at the end if you want it even smoother.
  2. Add meatballs carefully to your tomato sauce, turn to cover, then heat gently until just bubbling.

To Make the Parmesan:

  1. Blend cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor/blender until a fine powder is formed. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months in a sealed container.

To Serve:

  1. Serve mash topped with meatballs and sauce, drizzle the edges with olive oil, and sprinkle with cashew parmesan and extra chopped parsley if you wish.
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