Spaghetti With Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs

Marygrace Taylor, Photo by Andrew McCaul

Ingredients


Makes 8 servings

3 1⁄4 POUNDS EGGPLANT (ABOUT 3 LARGE) ROASTED UNTIL SOFT*

1⁄2 CUP CHOPPED ONION

2 CLOVES GARLIC, SLICED

1⁄3 CUP WALNUTS

2 TABLESPOONS YELLOW MISO PASTE (AVAILABLE IN THE REFRIGERATED SECTION NEAR THE TOFU)

1 1⁄2 CUPS ITALIAN-STYLE BREADCRUMBS,

PLUS MORE AS NEEDED

1⁄4 TEASPOON SALT

1⁄4 CUP FRESH CHOPPED BASIL

1 TABLESPOON OLIVE OIL, PLUS MORE FOR GREASING THE BAKING SHEET

FOR THE SAUCE 1⁄4 CUP OLIVE OIL

1 SMALL ONION, DICED

2 CLOVES GARLIC, SLICED

SALT, TO TASTE

5 POUNDS FRESH TOMATOES

(ABOUT 4 LARGE OR 8 MEDIUM), SEEDED AND ROUGHLY CHOPPED

1⁄4 CUP FRESH CHOPPED BASIL

FOR SERVING 8 OUNCES WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI

No one will miss the meat with this planet-friendly spin on the classic dish. The combo of white and whole wheat spaghetti makes for a fun flavor and color combo (and helps kids get used to the taste of whole grains).

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with olive oil.

2. Slice the eggplants in half and use a fork or spoon to scoop out the flesh. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the flesh and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

3. Place the onion, garlic, and walnuts in a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Add the miso and process again to form a paste.

4. Add the onion mixture to the eggplant, along with the breadcrumbs and salt. Use a fork or your hands to mix until combined. If necessary, add more breadcrumbs by the tablespoon; the consistency should be slightly sticky and just a bit drier than a raw meatball mixture. Fold in the basil.

5. Form the mixture into golf ball–size balls and place on the baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush the tops with olive oil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and a ball springs back when you press it.

6. While the eggplant balls bake, make the sauce. In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes and another big pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and given up most of their liquid to form a sauce. Add the basil and keep the sauce warm over very low heat until ready to serve.

7. While the sauce simmers, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the whole wheat spaghetti, followed by the white spaghetti

8. 2 to 3 minutes later. Cook another 4 to 6 minutes, until the spaghetti is al dente. Drain. Serve the spaghetti topped with the tomato sauce and eggplant balls, with basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Per Serving:

Calories:

511

Carbohydrates:

85 g

Fat:

15 g

Protein:

15 g

Fiber:

13 g

Active Time:

45 Min

Total Time:

1 Hour, 45 Min