Is there a place I wont go with beets? No, there really isn’t. These beet balls are SO easy to pull together and surprisingly enough, the subtle sweet flavor compliments tomato sauce quite well. I think you could even get away with sneaking this into a kids meal! How’s that for a hidden veggie?
I know that beets can sometimes be intimidating for the home cook, but my method is easy and MESS FREE. Just cut off the leaves (pictured above) wrap them tightly in foil and pop them in the oven at 350F until tender. This could take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the beets. When they are cool enough to handle, run them under cold water and the skin will peel right off without dying your hands. When you cut them is when the color will bleed, so I recommend placing a paper towel underneath and wearing gloves if you have them. For golden beets like the ones you use in this recipe, they don’t tend to bleed like normal red beets, so no need to worry about the mess!
For this recipe, I recommend using jarred sauce. Its all about moderation. If you are going to be making homemade meatballs and get a veggie in there, use the jar and use the extra time to pour yourself a glass of wine, because you obviously deserve it!!
Spaghetti and Beet Balls
This recipe makes homemade meatballs with a hidden veggie, beets! Their natural sweetness is the perfect compliment for tomato sauce.
- 3 small golden beets
- 3/4 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup steel cut oats, lightly ground
- salt to taste
- 2 Tablespoons chopped basil, plus more for garnish
- 16 oz spaghetti or linguine
- 24oz pasta sauce
- Step 1 Cut the greens off the beets, wrap tightly in foil, and pop in the oven at 350F for 25 minutes to an hour, depending on size. You want them to be tender enough that a fork can be easily inserted and removed.
- Step 2 Meanwhile, cook the lentils according to package directions. Be sure not to over cook them.
- Step 3 Remove the beets from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, run them under cold water while removing the peel with your fingers.
- Step 4 Put the beets, drained lentils, chickpea flour and steel cut oats into a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Stir in the salt and chopped basil and store in the fridge until cool enough to handle.
- Step 5 Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Step 6 Heat your preferred pasta sauce in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Form the meatball mixture into balls and drop into the sauce.
- Step 7 When the sauce is hot, serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with additional basil if desired.