Zoodles With Chickpea “Meatballs" | Omega

Enjoy this plant-based and garden-fresh take on Italian comfort food. Make your own zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, with chickpea "meatballs," topped with a fresh tomato sauce.

Serves 2-4

Zoodles

2 large zucchini, spiralized*

Directions

Boil a pot of water with a good dash of sea salt, toss in your zucchini noodles, and cook for one minute. Drain in a colander and serve. If you like your zoodles dry, gently blot them with a clean kitchen towel before serving.

*If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wider, fettuccine-style zoodles. Simply apply light pressure with the peeler along the sides of the zucchini. Or, using a good chef’s knife, you can carve out long, rustic pasta strips. Click here, for more veggie noodle creation inspiration. 

Chickpea “Meatballs"

1, 14-oz can chickpeas
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup rolled oats (or oat flour)
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain chickpeas and transfer to a food processor to crush. Alternatively, you can mash the chickpeas with a potato masher.

Add egg, olive oil, oats, tomato paste, basil, garlic powder, oregano, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes to the food processor and blend until combined (or add to a bowl to combine without a processor). If mixture is too dry, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper.

Form mixture into 8 balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake 8-to-10 minutes more, until golden. Serve with zoodles and sauce (see below).

Tip: You can add leftover chickpea "meatballs" to salads for an extra boost of plant protein.

Simple, Fresh Tomato Sauce

2 pounds fresh tomatoes (Roma, heirloom, cherry, or whatever variety you can find)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds and discard. Place the cut side of tomato on a cutting board and chop.

Heat up a wide saucepan on medium high heat with the olive oil and garlic. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce sauce by simmering for about 15-20 minutes. Add fresh basil before serving.

Top your zoodles and chickpea "meatballs" with the sauce. Enjoy!

© 2020 Suzanne Boothby. Used with permission.

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