Vegan Love: Spaghetti and Heart-Shaped Meatballs

Vegan Love: Spaghetti and Heart-Shaped Meatballs is a site you might really enjoy. Miss Lexy, its owner, is a real charmer. When she’s not blogging, she is working as a Chicago Outreach Coordinator for Mercy For Animals. Other than that, she works part time in a boutique for dogs and studies toward her second Bachelor’s degree. She has resided in Chicago for a number of years with her two rescued blind kitties, Popeye and Lucy, and an organic balcony garden. She has been vegan for five years. Her mission in life is to be “a vegan, tattooed Betty Crocker.”

If you are a new vegan or starting out with Meatless Mondays, might be quite useful to you because Miss Lexy tells you what brands she likes for all her vegan ingredients and where you can buy them – in stores or online. (Take a look below the recipe.)

Her recipes are loved by many long-time vegans. Here’s her recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. She serves this with a green kale salad and a vegan red wine.

Spaghetti & Heart-Shaped Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for pasta sauce):
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, heavy pinch
4 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
3 fresh medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red wine*
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes with herbs
1 tbsp tomato paste
pepper, to taste

Ingredients (for meatballs):
2 packages Upton’s Naturals ground beef style seitan, crumbled*
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp vegan Parmesan*
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
3 “egg” Ener-G egg replacer (follow according to box directions)*
1/3 cup Italian style bread crumbs*
1/4 cup olive oil, for frying, add more if needed

Ingredients (for pasta):
6 oz. spaghetti, cooked by box instructions
fresh Italian parsley, to top
fresh basil, to top
vegan Parmesan cheese, to top

Recipe (for pasta sauce):
Sautee the onions and garlic in the olive oil and salt until the onions have sweat.
Add the diced fresh tomatoes, thyme, basil, and wine. Cook down until wine is reduced to half. This step may take about twenty minutes.
Lastly, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and pepper. Simmer for about ten minutes.

Recipe (for meatballs):
Combine the first 11 ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pan.
While the oil is heating, shape the meatballs into heart-shapes.
On a plate, add the bread crumbs. Roll the meatballs in the bread crumbs.
Cook in the skillet until golden brown.

Recipe (for pasta):

To assemble, place cooked pasta on a plate. Top with the sauce and meatballs.
Add the parsley, basil, and Parmesan to the pasta plate. Buon appetito!

Note: Upton’s Naturals is a local Chicago seitan company. They sell their faux meats here in Chicagoland. You could use other seitan-style meat crumbles such as Boca Ground Crumbles, Gimme Lean Sausage by Lightlife, or Yves Meatless Ground Round Original. Vegan Parmesan brand I use is Galaxy topping. Ener-G is an egg replacer one can find in the baking area of health food stores. There are other means of egg replacing such as using apple sauce. For the bread crumbs, make sure to check they are vegan. Oftentimes, they will contain dairy. I used the Whole Foods brand, 365.

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