Spaghetti and Quinoa "Meatballs"

Crunchy, light quinoa balls add texture and substance to an already satisfying spaghetti meal. These were well-received and healthful.

Quinoa "meatball" recipe from Pairs Well with Food.

-3/4 c quinoa
-1 onion
-1 clove garlic
-1 t thyme
-12 oz mushrooms
-1 T tomato sauce
-2 eggs
-1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
-1/3 c parmesan cheese
-1/3 c parsley
-pasta, desired quantity

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, by boiling water and adding quinoa in a 2:1 ratio for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Finely chop onion and saute until soft, with salt and pepper, adding minced garlic and thyme for the last minute.

Dice mushrooms and add to the saute pan, cooking for 10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook off some of the liquid, briefly.

Mix sauteed ingredients with the cooked quinoa, the eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley. Roll into balls and place on greased baking sheet, I made about a dozen larger ones, the recipe says it makes 30+ tiny quinoa balls. Bake the quinoa balls at 350 for about 20 minutes, until a crust develops on the outside.

Serve with a preferred pasta and sauce.

The source recipe actually served it with a spaghetti squash and homemade tomato sauce, we made it simpler. The quinoa balls could have used a heavier hand in seasoning, with salt and Italian herbs, but in general it was very wholesome and good. For anyone looking for a comparison to a ground beef meatball, it doesn't have the same feel against the teeth nor the fat content, but otherwise is a fine addition to a pasta meal and another use of texture.


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