Lentil “Meatballs” with Zucchini Noodles

Cook time 1 hour (+ cooling time)
Servings 4

Ingredients

1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
⅔ cup (150g) fresh ricotta
½ cup finely grated parmesan + extra, to serve
1 cup (55g) panko breadcrumbs
Zest of ½ lemon
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
4 large zucchini, spiralised into ‘zoodles’
Toasted pine nuts, serve
Basil, to serve

Lentil “Meatballs” with Zucchini Noodles

Method

Cook the lentils with 700ml of water as per the Tefal Multicook and Grain instructions.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large non-stick frying over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place cooked lentils in a food processor with tomato paste, egg, ricotta, cooked onion mixture, parmesan, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper Pulse until combined. Using damp hands, roll heaped tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on a tray in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the crushed tomato. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.

Heat the last tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook balls for 6-8 minutes to seal, in batches if necessary, turning carefully to not break up.

Add the balls to the tomato sauce and gently cook for 8-10 minutes. Divide zoodles between bowls, top with ‘meatballs’ and warm sauce. Sprinkle with basil leaves and pine nuts.