This summer I’ve been making lots of massaged kale salads and what I call farmer’s market salads from whatever looked good that week. But occasionally I crave something heartier too, to balance out all the cooling, raw vegetables and fruit. This vegan spaghetti with black bean mushroom balls perfectly satisfies my need for comfort food, any time of year. I love these homemade vegan meatballs, crispy on the outside and rich in umami with herbs, capers, and mushrooms. They’re so much better than packaged ones, and so easy! 🙂
Spaghetti with Black Bean and Mushroom Balls
5 oz dry spaghetti
1 cup vegan marinara sauce
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2/3 cup walnut halves
about 7-8 white button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp capers, with 2 tbsp brine
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp bread crumbs, plus more for light coating
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Boil water in a large pot. Add spaghetti, some salt, and boil for 9 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, blend beans, garlic, about 1/2 the walnuts, 1/2 of the mushrooms, nutritional yeast, capers, herbs, black pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, and bread crumbs until smooth. Add the rest of the walnuts and mushrooms and process for a few seconds, leaving pea-sized chunks.
3. In a large plate, spread about 2 tbsp of bread crumbs. Use a spoon to measure out golf ball-sized amount of bean mixture. Shape it between your (clean) hands, rolling gently over the plate to coat lightly in crumbs. Set on the edge of the plate. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. It will make about a dozen balls, depending on the size.
4. In a large saute pan, heat remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Gently add the bean balls; fry them for a few minutes on one side, then turn them over and cook for another few minutes. Add pasta and sauce to the pan to toss. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Also see: Vegan Ratatouille Pizza
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling