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Meat(less)-balls

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As I said in the previous recipe, I am determined to try some traditional Italian recipes using alternative brands of plant-based meat substitutes.
This week I make a few changes to the traditional meatball recipe from “La Cucina Italiana” Magazine , and I use a different brand of meat substitute than in my previous test.
The result is much more satisfying than the previous attempt. The texture is excellent, and the taste is fairly close to that of the traditional meat recipe. It is important to use high quality tomatoes – such as the San Marzano variety I have used – and blend them using a mixer, because the combined flavors of the meat(less)-balls and the sauce are what make the dish so delicious.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Plant based meat 1 pack
egg 1
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
Slices of bread 2
Milk or stock 1 dl
breadcrumbs 3 tbsp


chopped parsley
salt and pepper
flour 2 tablespoon
grounded garlic, about half clove
extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoon
For the sauce
San Marzano tomato 28 oz
chopped onion 1/2
extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoon
salt and fresh basil

Preparation

First, prepare the sauce. Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. When the onion is golden, add the tomato puree and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Then season with salt, add the basil and set aside.

Next, prepare the meat(less)-balls. Cut the bread into 1-inch squares, and place them in a small bowl with the milk. Let the bread soak for 5-10 minutes.
Place the plant-based meat, grated Parmigiano cheese, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Squeeze the bread to remove most of the milk, then and it add to the other ingredients.
Mix well with your hands until the mixture is relatively homogeneous.

Mix

Again using your hands, mold the mixture into balls, and roll them in the flour to lightly coat each ball.
Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a pan, brown the meatballs, turn them, and after a few minutes put the meatballs into the tomato sauce.

Cover with a lid and cook over low heat for about half an hour.

Enjoy!

Tips

Depending on the bread variety, you might need to add more breadcrumbs. In case you are vegan, you can substitute milk with vegetable stock or other vegan milk as you like; you can substitute grated Parmigiano with vegan cheese.

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