This is a really simple recipe, and possibly it’s a bit of a cheat as I am using Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) to make the meatballs. I have done this using breadcrumbs, crushed beans and lentils before, however it doesn’t seem to hold together as well and give a satisfying texture. Either way, this makes for a great quick tea which the whole family (and especially children!) will really enjoy.
300g good quality dried spaghetti
350g TVP or other ‘Sosmix’
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 tbs olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary or sage
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
Small bunch of fresh basil
1 tbs vegetable bouillon
Grated vegetarian Parmesan (optional)
1. Add 2 tbs of the olive oil to a shallow frying pan, and gently fry the chopped onion until lightly brown.
2. Add the water to the TVP mixture as per the manufacturers instructions (usually to a ratio of 60/40). Add in one of the tins of tomatoes the rosemary, and the fried onions. Mix well and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
3. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan on a gentle heat. Form the mixture into small balls and gently fry, turning often, until brown all over.
4. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to a large pan of salted boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain well, drizzle with a little olive oil, and set aside.
5. Add the remaining tin of tomatoes to a small saucepan, together with the bouillon, basil and tomato purée. Simmer gently then season.
6. Add the meatballs to the spaghetti, pour the sauce over and sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Decorate with the remaining basil leaves.