Lentil Balls with Pasta and Marinara Sauce

imageLENTIL BALLS
1 cup green lentils; picked through and rinsed
2 1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small (1/2 large) onion; minced
1 clove garlic; crushed
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1/2 cup (gluten free as needed) oat flour (I grind my own in a coffee mill turned gf seed/grain grinder)

Bring clean lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients and place in a bowl. Strain and rinse lentils, add to the bowl with other ingredients and mash together to combine; I used a pastry knife but a fork or potato masher will work just fine. When well combined, set aside and let rest for 20 minutes.

Prepare marinara sauce (recipe below) and pasta (gluten free as needed).

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 2 Tablespoons of the lentil ball mixture and form into a ball. It will be sticky (if it’s ridiculously sticky add more oat flour) so it will need to be rolled and otherwise manipulated into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake sheet in the oven for 25 minutes.

Top pasta with lentil balls and marinara sauce. Top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast if desired. I recommend serving with a salad on the side.image

MARINARA SAUCE
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 onion; minced
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 cups boxed/canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
pinch thyme
3 cloves garlic; crushed

Preheat a wide bottomed stock pot over medium heat and chop the onions. Add olive oil, onions and salt and saute under cover until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to the sauted onions, put the cover on, bring to a boil, reduce heat, add herbs and spices and lightly simmer.

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