As with all things to title a recipe on our blog using a “The Mask” quote seems oddly poignant. Right at the end of the film *spoilers* he ingests a somewhat large time bomb, which promptly explodes, causing him to burp fire and shout: “That’s a spicy meat-a ball”.
Now in my world (a dangerous, unforgiving and disturbing place) i.e. my brain, everything should have an element of spice to it. Chili goes with everything so beautifully; tomato, garlic, pineapple, chocolate… everything! So as I have been quoting The Mask since I was about 10 years old it struck me not so long ago that I should have a spicy ‘meat’-ball go to recipe.
And boy-howdy, this turned out better than even I was expecting!
Yes, ok, I realize the picture is blurry! I didn’t actually realize this until after they were “nommed down“, but it’s because it was giving off so much steam (and hey, who doesn’t look better through steamed/frosted glass? I look like a supermodel!) – but it was actually significantly easier and quicker than you might think!
Everybody has their own favorite type of “meat”-ball, whether you use falafels, make your own, or (like me) you went to [insert your supermarket of choice here] and looked around the freezer section for the thing that was cheapest or on offer! For me, on this occasion it was Birds Eye Green Cuisine Meat-Free Meatballs and for some reason, whilst they don’t seem to be very highly rated in general (2 stars on Iceland, 3.8 on the Birds Eye site) we actually really like them! They were affordable and tasty, what more do you want?
A friend lately told me that she really liked the recipes Andreea and I have been sharing because they are affordable, easy and healthy; something which can be lacking from several online sources as they often call for strange or expensive ingredients – and I think this recipe really sums that up, easy, healthy and affordable, it comfortably made 4 portions but could definitely be stretched a little further too!
The ingredients are very simple:
and in no time at all you’re looking at the perfect meatless meatball sauce for your spaghetti:
Spicy Spaghetti & Meatballs
A simple and fun dinner that can be made any day of the week - be warned though, it's spicy!!!
- 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes + 1 tin Plum Tomatoes (or 2 tins chopped)
- 1 pack / serving Vegan Meatballs of your choice
- 12-15 Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 2 mild/medium Green Chili Peppers, (optionally de-seeded) finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Tamari / Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder or Granules
- 2 tsp Italian Herbs
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1 pinch Baking Soda / Bicarbonate of Soda (this reduces the heavily acidity of the tomatoes and makes for a sweeter sauce)
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- (Optional) 1 handful Flat Parsley (or Basil, but I only had Parsley), finely chopped
- (Optional) 1/2 pack re-hydrated Sun-Dried Tomatoes (I had leftover from a previous recipe and they were nom!)
- Enough Whole-wheat (or other) Spaghetti for however many people you’re feeding
- Cook the meatballs as per the instructions on the packet or recipe that you’re following and prep the Spaghetti too cook as per packet instructions (easy, no?)
- Place a pan on the hob on a low to medium heat, either non-stick or with a tbsp of neutral oil (like rapeseed)
- Once heated add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and chili and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the tomatoes start to break down (but don’t let the garlic brown)
- Add literally every single other ingredient (except the fresh herbs) and stir until combined, then leave to cook on a low heat for about 25 minutes, it should really be nice and thick and bubbling away.
- Once the meatballs are done, throw them and the fresh herbs in with the sauce and stir in, letting it cook for just a couple more minutes – add a little salt and pepper extra to taste
- Serve on top of your cooked spaghetti
The world is a pretty crazy place at the moment so hopefully this post inspires you, and we would love to hear what you’re cooking and also we’d love to see your attempts at the above dish and how you change it to be yours, so tweet us @rockinblues and @PlantBasedSQL on Twitter and let us know your snug story!