Friday, March 26, 2010

Nutballs in Tomato Sauce

What a horrible, horrible name for a recipe. Seriously. But it's accurate. These are, in fact, balls made of nuts. It sounds so ridiculously simple but they really do turn out having a good consistency. I won't say they are even close to meatballs, but they're a nice substitute. He waited until AFTER I'd plated them to let me know that he hates meatballs. He only ate one nutball. He was not pleased. I really liked them a lot. I kind of want to try them in a sandwich as the note suggests. They're easy enough to whip up to do just that.


Nutballs in Tomato Sauce
CLBB (heavy hedonist)

All notes are from the original poster

1 cup prepared or homemade tomato sauce
1 cup raw brown nuts, (such as almonds, cashews and walnuts, but a few sunflower seeds or pine nuts are good too, and peanuts work as long as not more than 1/2 the measure ) ground fine in FP or blender
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp dried oregano, or 1 tsp fresh oregano or parsley
1/2 cup grated parm or romano cheese
1 egg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Butter or oil a small baking dish.

Saute onions, garlic, fennel and dried oregano in EVOO over medium heat until soft. Let cool a bit, then combine all ingredients EXCEPT tomato sauce in a large bowl with your hands, being careful not to compact mixture too much. add fresh herbs now if using. Form into eight small balls, place into pan so as not to be touching each other, pour over the tomato sauce, and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot over pasta or rice, crumble into sauce, or best of all, serve warm topped with cheese and more sauce for a Nutball Hoagy. Add your favorite spices in place of mine-- more fennel and some sage makes it more sausage-y-- rosemary is more Italian, etc.

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