Friday, January 4, 2013

spaghetti with chickpea meatballs and sweet tomato sauce

I've been trying to cook new recipes lately since I've been in a terrible rut for the last couple months. I eat the same thing every day and it just gets a little monotonous. My diet for most of 2012 consisted of baked sweet potatoes, chickpeas mixed with tomatoes (recipe here) and cucumbers with hummus. Not much variety at all. I guess this is technically still a variation on chickpeas and tomatoes, but it was super yummy and tasted different so I think it counts as a new dish for my cooking repertoire.

I adapted the recipe for the meatballs from this one from Cookin' Canuck. I used chickpeas instead of cannellini beans (partially because they're my go-to bean for everything and partially because I was hungry and didn't have cannellini beans in the cupboard.) and pre-packaged everything. I also made my meatballs 1tbsp instead of 2tbsp so they would cook through faster. The recipe below made about 20 meatballs so next time I'm going to halve it. I ended up putting most of them in the freezer. (I feel like Andy Bernard when he makes his New Years resolution to "learn how to cook for one.")

For the meatballs you need:
1.5 cans of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
about 1/4 c. roasted red peppers
2 tbsp. onion powder*
1 egg
1/2 c. breadcrumbs (or panko)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, combine chickpeas and peppers until they're combined but not pureed. Then mix with all of the other ingredients, and form into 1 tbsp balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Mine needed some extra time and I ended up cooking them for 35 minutes.

For the sauce, I just combined canned tomato sauce with oregano, parsley, garlic and olive oil and then added honey to taste. Let it simmer for a while, and then add the meatballs. Let the meatballs cook in the sauce for a few more minutes, then add them to pasta and enjoy!

I think this recipe would also taste delicious with the chickpea mixture sauteed on the stove and then added to the sauce for a chunky meat sauce instead of meatballs!

*I love the taste of onions but hate the texture so I always use onion powder. You'll probably want to use real onions :)