When I was a kid one of my favorite canned meals was spaghetti and meatballs. As a latch-key kid, there was nothign better than racing home from school to crack open a can of ravioli, spaghetti-o’s or spaghetti and meatballs. All of that tomato-y goodness that, in hindsight, wasn’t all that good, waiting to stain your lips and your microwave safe bowl!
Who could resist?
Not me, that’s for sure!
So, when I was walking the aisles of Lidl last week and noted that here in Romania they have started to up their vegan food choices game. I found Verdino brand meatballs and you know what I did, grabbed up the last package with a giddy smile. I knew then what I wanted.
What is that?
Well, let’s see. Combine my love of carbs, noodles and pasta with these vegan meatballs and what do you have? One of my childhood favorites, re-done for the fancy, grown-up vegan I am today.
This is one of those vegan dinner recipes that you can do the easy way or the tasty way. Just kidding, I’m sure your jarred pasta is super delicious, it’s just a little too sweet for my taste. But if anyone knows of any no sugar added options, I’m game to give it a try.
Seriously, though, you can open up a can of vegan pasta sauce (always check for the dreaded milk powder), fry up the vegan balls and cook your favorite pasta and make this a thirty minute vegan meal. I went a different way, making a tomato-romesco sauce so let’s take a peek at the ingredients.
Spaghetti & Meatballs Ingredients:
Whole wheat spaghetti (or whatever long pasta makes your mouth water)
Vegan parm (or nooch, I used Parveggio for this recipe)
Roasted red peppers (already jarred in water, not vinegar, or done at home)
Plant milk, just enough to think out the sauce if necessary (Alpro almond, no sugars)
Vegan meatballs (I’m shooting myself for not photographing the packaging!)
For the vegan meatballs: Season the balls with your favorite herbs & spices first. Cook on the stove top, with or without oil, or put them in the oven.
For the sauce: Cook the onions and garlic first and then pop everything into the food processor, run until smooth. Add in nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, tomato paste and your favorite pasta sauce seasonings. I like cumin, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, white powder, smoky paprika. Return to pan to warm through. Add milk if the sauce is too thick, then add vegan balls for a minute or two.
For the pasta: Cook according to package instructions. Just remember to cook 1 or 2 minutes shorter than recommended since you need to blend everything in the sauce and therefore, cook for another minute or two.
Toss it all together, top with vegan parm for photos, and serve.