This is the ideal summer weekend meal, it takes a little time to prepare but not so much that it’s onerous. It’s wonderfully hearty with deliciously rich and savory flavors. There may be leftovers, which you can have for dinner during the week! The meatless balls and tomato sauce can be made in advance, when you’re ready, cook the pasta and toss it with them together. So easy, so delicious.

Spaghetti With Black-Eyed Pea ‘Meatballs’ [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

For the Meatless Meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup dry black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes (or to taste), optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened, not in liquid form
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, oregano, and thyme)
  • Pinch of chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-3 tablespoons oat flour (or whole spelt/whole wheat/all-purpose)
  • Olive oil spray

For the Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti:

  • 16 ounces dry spaghetti (use gluten-free if desired/needed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped basil to garnish, optional
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Preparation

To Make the Meatless Meatballs:

  1. Mix ground flaxseed and water in a small cup, set aside and let mixture thicken for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Pulse black-eyed peas in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  3. Add onions, garlic, paprika, crushed pepper, tahini, coconut oil, seasoning, rosemary and baking soda.
  4. Process until it forms a thick paste and mixture is almost smooth.
  5. Add oat flour, a tablespoon at time until mixture holds together and still fairly moist,
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and refrigerate mixture for 30-60 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350° F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Using your hand, scoop about 1 tablespoon of bean mixture, roll into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet, repeat with the rest of the mixture.
  9. Spray balls with a light coating of olive oil and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown (cover with foil if they’re browning too quickly).

To Make the Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions, drain, and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta’s cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive over medium-low heat in a large skillet or saucepan.
  3. Add pepper flakes, red onion and garlic, saute until fragrant and onions are soft.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes, add half of the meatless balls, lower heat, and let sauce simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat, Add pasta cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time as needed to loosen sauce, and coat pasta.
  6. Stir in lemon zest, taste and add salt (if necessary).
  7. Serve with freshly ground pepper, remaining meatless balls, and garnish with chopped basil.
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