Fool Your Guests With Meatless Meatballs

You have two ways to go about finding a good vegetarian substitute for meatballs. The first is to replace the meat with non-animal proteins, such as nuts. The second approach is slightly different. Instead of looking for a meat substitute, just use a delicious vegetarian substitute that makes no attempt to approximate meat. The two approaches may be different, but they each yield delicious results.

Meatless Meatballs
The nuts and cheese lend the balls body, while the egg and bread crumbs hold them together.
Ingredients You Will Need:
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cracker crumbs
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
¼ cup roasted pecans, finely chopped
1 egg
¼ cup parmesan cheese
3 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
5 sprigs parsley, leaves stripped and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1 pound spaghetti, cooked

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent, about eight minutes. Let the mixture come to room temperature, and then mix it with the rest of the ingredients, except for the marinara sauce and spaghetti. Form into balls of your desired size. Heat the rest of the olive oil in the same pan, and cook the balls until they are brown all over. Pour the sauce over them, and turn the heat to low. Let them simmer until they are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture over the spaghetti, and enjoy.

Spinach Ricotta Balls
Used in lieu of meatballs, these cheesy spinach balls make a delicious and different dinner.
Ingredients You Will Need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 egg, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup bread crumbs
1 8-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly dried
½ bunch basil, leaves removed and roughly chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1 pound spaghetti, cooked

Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until they begin to brown, about eight minutes. Let the mixture come to room temperature, and mix it with the rest of the ingredients, except for the marinara sauce and spaghetti. Form into balls of your desired size, and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes. Heat up the marinara sauce in a small pot, and add the balls. Let stew for a few minutes, and pour over the spaghetti.

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