I challenge anyone to make spaghetti and meatballs and not pull off at least one bad gangster movie quote. I full on turn into Joe Pesci when making and eating these and apologise for nothing. If you don’t do exactly that then you are just not as cool as me. Ahem….
The ‘meat’ part of these comes from seitan. I make my own (recipe coming soon) but you can buy them in any health food store or specialised market. If you are in the US I think you can buy them in any supermarket. I fully suggest you make your own though. It is so cheap and versatile. You can make it ground, pulled or sliced and it really gets close to meat, taste and texture wise. It also includes a MASSIVE amount of protein. 1 serve of the seitan alone will have 30grams…
Apart from that, except for the addition of walnuts, there is not really much separating these from the real thing. You will need an egg replacer, these in no way look or taste like eggs but do the job well of binding everything.
They tend to crumble so don’t roll them like you would a normal meatball. You have to really apply some pressure and make sure they are fully compacted. If not they will crumble and fall apart and it is not my fault if they do!
You will also need 1 litre of my tomato sauce already made up to act as, well, the tomato sauce! I normally make a couple of servings with spaghetti and then have one with mashed potato and broccoli and one for lunch in a soft white roll and some salad. But you can do whatever you want! Haha Serves 4
- 1 package seitan
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (you will like yourself mud h more if you make them yourself)
- small handful daiya cheese (any flavour will do, this is important as it adds to the binding)
- small handful basil, chopped
- small handful parsley, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of replacement egg powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 litre tomato sauce (or you could use your own or if you absolutely have to, a store bought one)
- Spaghetti/pasta/mashed potato and veg/soft white roll to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Add a large sauté pan to the stove and heat over a low heat
- Pulse the garlic in a food processor for a few seconds
- Add the seitan and process until it looks like ground mince
- Add the walnuts and pulse a few times. You want to the walnuts to break up but you want them to be quite chunky. Otherwise it is just another thing to crumble.
- Add the egg powder with 1/4 cup of water and mix fully. Leave it for a few seconds to thicken
- Put the seitan mixture into a mixing bowl along with the herbs, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of oil and the egg mixture and mix everything together
- Add the meatball mixture to the sauté pan and add the Daiya cheese. You are not cooking it, you are just heating it until the Daiya melts. Stir everything and put back into the mixing bowl to cool for a bit. This whole process would take less than a minute
- Shape the mixture into 12 balls. Really make sure to mix it well and make the meatballs quite dense. Each one should be about the size of a golfball
- Put some baking paper on a tray, add the meatballs and put in the oven for 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes
- After 20 minutes, I like to heat the remaining oil in the sauté pan from earlier over a high heat and really brown the sides. Just be careful not to break any balls. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make a ball joke. I deserve a medal! This is optional you don’t need to add anymore oil if you don’t want to
- Add the tomato sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then
- Serve with spaghetti
Fun Lovin Criminals “Come Find Yourself”
When you are eating Noo Yoik gangster food. You have to listen to your favourite Noo Yoik Gangster band. The Fun Lovin Criminals were a massive band for me in the 90’s. Big meat eaters, I imagine they would not be the first to try this recipe, but that’s cool…..
This album featured the original (and best) lineup of Huey Morgan, Brian “Fast” Leiser and Steve “Steveo” Borgovini. Urban funk rock, blues and hip hop. Sounds fucking good to me. Centred around loops, live drums, funky blues rock guitar and storytelling lyrics about life in NYC, this was the album I needed in the 90’s. I didn’t hate myself and I didn’t want to die like all the other kids were on about. I wanted to live and party.
I cannot tell you how much I wanted to be these guys when I was younger. I realised later on that being from London is not a bad thing, in fact it is a damn good thing, so as I got older, I stopped trying to talk like Deniro and perfected my own mockney drawl! The music and food influence stuck though.
Check this album out. It is amazing.