Beets are truly one of the most under-appreciated vegetables. They are nutrient-rich, provide a mesmerizing color to whichever dish you add them to, and are extremely versatile. For this recipe, the crimson vegetable, along with red lentils, onions, spices, and bread crumbs, are formed into veggie meatballs. Place them atop a bed of hot spaghetti and just like that, you have a simple yet hearty dinner.
Lentil and Beet Meatballs With Pasta [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Beetballs:
- 1 cup whole red lentils
- 1 cup beets
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary)
- Oil, for deep frying
For the Pasta:
- 1 14-ounce package of spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon extra
- Salt, to taste
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 3-4 basil leaves
- 4 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese
- Wash lentils well and soak it for 20 minutes. Pressure cook the lentils until soft with very little water.
- Peel the skin off the beets and grate them.
- Finely chop the onions and garlic.
- In a bowl, add grated beets, lentil paste, chopped onions, garlic, cumin powder, and coriander powder, salt and mix well. The mixture should not be firm enough to form balls.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a wide pan.
- Divide the beet mixture into equal portions. Make small lemon sized balls. Deep fry them until golden brown.Remove from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Now cook the pasta as per packet instructions until al-dente. Drain from water and rinse until cold water immediately. Add a 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and rub all over the pasta.In a pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and fry for a minute. Add the herbs and red chili flakes and salt to taste.
- Throw in the cooked pasta and toss well.
- Remove the pasta into serving plates, top with grated vegan parmesan cheese and place the beetballs. Serve immediately.