Baked Spaghetti with Black Bean Meatballs

WITH TOFU BLACK BEAN “MEATBALLS”

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Tofu Black Bean Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 can of black beans drained
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, wilted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup of ground flax seeds
  • oil for sprinkling
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and have a lined baking sheet near by.

Measure out the spinach and either cook it in a un-oiled skilled or nook it in the microwave until it’s just wilted.  Then roughly chop it, and set aside in a small bowl.

‚ÄčIn a food processor or blender, pulse together the tofu, black beans, garlic, and pesto.  It should look slightly pastey, but with visible, small chunks of beans.

Transfer the tofu and beans to a mixing bowl,stir in the egg, and add in the chopped spinach, the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Slowly stir in the ground flaxseeds.  Use enough until it can come together into a firm ball.  Roll 1.5 inch balls in your hands, and place them on a lined cookie sheet, and drizzle them with olive oil. And Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until they’re VERY dark brown and cooked completely through with an extra crunchy exterior.  It’s important to cook them well, so they hold up when they absorb some of the tomato sauce later.

Spaghetti Ingredients:

  • 1 box of spaghetti noodles (I used a gluten free brand)
  • 1 1/2 cans of marinara sauce
  • 1 cup of spinach, wilted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 5 large basil leaves, torn into strips
  • Mozzarella cheese for sprinkling.

Once the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and turn to oven temperature to 375. Have a buttered casserole dish on hand.

Cook spaghetti noodles according to package instructions (but boil the noodles a little longer than instructed about 3 extra more)

Transfer the cooked noodles to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the marinara sauce.  Set aside.

On the stove over medium high heat heat oil in a skillet, and add the butter.  As it melts, add in the onions, and cook, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes.  Add in the garlic and chopped red peppers. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring constantly until everything is soft and translucent. Just at the end, lay the spinach on top and wilt the leaves with the steam from the vegetables. Transfer everything to the spaghetti bowl.

Stir everything together, add the torn basil leaves, and mix in the egg.  Add in the meatballs, and an extra drizzle of olive oil, and transfer the mixture to the buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese(if desired), because I sure did.

And bake for another 20 minutes, allowing the eggs to seal all the flavors together in the spaghetti. Remove the dish from the oven and garnish with fresh basil for a pretty presentation.

THEN SERVE!

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