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Spicy Chickpea Meatballs in Herby Tomato Sauce

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Serves 4

Gorgeous oven baked chickpea meat(less)balls served with a herby tomato sauce on zucchini pasta (zucchetti).

Per serve: 1283.5kj (305.6cals); 9g total fat (1.6g saturated fat); 7.6g fibre


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You’ll need

Chickpea Balls
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh chilli, finely chopped
2 cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Italian Tomato Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
1 tsp finely chopped thyme
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 large garlic clove, peeled and bruised
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 large zucchini

Let’s go

Heat oven to 180°c and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Heat non stick frypan on medium. Add oil, onion, garlic and chilli with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes (stirring frequently) until onions are soft and translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Pat drained chickpeas dry and place into a food processor. Pulse until broken up but not smooth (the consistency of chunky breadcrumbs). Mix chickpeas with onion mixture along with egg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper and roll into balls (about 1 tablespoon per ball). Place on oven tray and bake for 20 minutes.

While chickpea balls are cooking, place all sauce ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Discard garlic clove. You can choose to leave the sauce as is or blend it with a stick blender for a smoother texture. It’s lovely either way.

Using a potato peeler, slice zucchini vertically into ribbons. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add zucchini. Cook for a minute before draining and divide among 4 bowls. Top with chickpea balls and tomato sauce.

Why it’s good for you
Chickpeas are a fantastic source of fibre and they’re low GI which means they stay in your system making you feel fuller for longer – bonus! It’s great to have at least one meat-free night a week and these meat(less)balls are just so tasty that you’d never guess that they are made from chickpeas.
Per serve: 1283.5kj (305.6cals); 9g total fat (1.6g saturated fat); 7.6g fibre

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