Herby chickpea balls with tomato sauce

Herby chickpea balls with tomato sauce

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(15 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 3

Vegetarians don't need to miss out on pasta with meatballs, with this no-fuss meat-free version

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
607
protein
30g
carbs
85g
fat
19g
saturates
6g
fibre
6g
sugar
9g
salt
2.15g

Ingredients

  • 2 slices white bread, crusts off and torn into pieces
  • 75g parmesan, or vegetarian alternative, 50g roughly chopped and 25g grated
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 roughly chopped and 1 crushed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 560ml jar passata with onions and garlic
  • 200g spaghetti, linguine or tagliatelle

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Whizz the bread and roughly chopped Parmesan in a food processor to crumbs, then throw in the chickpeas, roughly chopped garlic, half the oregano, a few basil leaves and some seasoning. Pulse until the mixture starts to come together, then add just enough of the egg while the motor is running to bind together. Shape into 18 small balls. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 mins, turning halfway.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, fry the crushed garlic in the olive oil for 1 min. Then tip in the passata, remaining oregano and some seasoning and simmer until the chickpea balls are ready. Cook pasta following pack instructions.
  3. When the chickpea balls are cooked, serve over the pasta, with the tomato sauce and the rest of the basil on top. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2011

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Comments

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Fabulous41's picture

Made this the other night and it was fab!! I also made my own tomato sauce and served it with some spicy cous cous. Will definately make again :)

stormyraincloud's picture
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Have made this several times now, and it has become a favourite, even with the fussy younglings. Delicious!
Made my own sauce though, could sneakily add more veg and blend it ;)

oscarsgrandma's picture

At least 4 people in the Comments have referred to Parmesan as being non-vegggie yet this recipe is still being promoted as suitable for Vegetarians! Does anyone from the BBC Food dept read this? Parmesan is made with ANIMAL RENNET.

tropic's picture

Vegetarians eat dairy.. Vegans do not.

fallella's picture
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Tasted nice but I think the recipe should indicate what the consistency of the balls should be before putting them in the oven. I put a bit of flour in mine as they were quite sloppy and they turned out quite well, but I don't know if they were as intended!

lexy9uk's picture

Sounds lovely, will make this with cheddar as Parmesan is not vegetarian!

marffa's picture
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surprisingly easy and quick to make. A really tasty dish that my meat-eating husband enjoyed too.

kgrattan32232's picture
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Really tasty!! Didn't have basil leaves so added a some dried basil instead. Used cheddar as all I had. Pleasantly surprised that they were not in the least bit dry.

kirstensmith's picture
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Sorry this one wasn't for me. Made it as my first vegetarian meal, a bit of an experiment. Really didn't like the texture and even though I added plenty of herbs, seasoning and garlic (and even onion) to the chickpea balls, I found them very bland. Thank god for the sauce!

jadeheathfield's picture
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Chickpea balls were easy to make and very pleasant. Left out Parmesan as we're veggies. Found the passata to be a little bit too tomato-ey for our liking, but overall a very simple, filling veggie dish.

blackbird17's picture
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Unbelievably quick to make and the mix is very easy to handle and shape. I modified the sauce a bit, but any decent tomato sauce will do. Served it with fusilli. Great for veggies and non veggies alike.

bbaker's picture
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Quick and easy family lunch, especially with the chickpea balls prepared the night before. Softer and more moist than falafals with being baked and not fried. Will become a family regular, will try with other flavourings and sauces.
Ps for Edel - I buy Sainsburys basics hard cheese - not as flavoursome as parmesan but I use it all the time as it is veggie. Otherwise I use Bookhams.com for their veggie parmesan

edelnig's picture

What's the best alternative to parmesan, given that it's not a vegetarian cheese?

kate295's picture
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I've made this recipe several times and I absolutely love it! It's so quick and easy to cobble together, the balls are really easy to shape and hold together really well. The only difference I make is to use thyme as a herb (only one in the cupboard but tastes great!) Any tomato sauce with it works fine, and I usually serve with fusilli pasta or cous cous. Even my carnivore loves this so I would recommend to everyone!

c_malcolm's picture
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I was looking for something different to do with chickpeas and stumbled upon this recipe. I used normal cheese instead of parmesan as we are vegetarians and I also added some cayenne pepper to the chickpea mix. A definite hit!!

1flower1's picture
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P.S I used ordinary hard goats cheese instead of parmisan. Really tasty.

1flower1's picture
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Absolutly gorgeous. The balls are kinda melt in the mouth and although I thought the sauce was going to be bland I couldn't have been more wrong. Everything was just right. definately one to do again.

inathalie's picture
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Well, they were quite dry, but apart from that I really enjoyed this veggie dish.
I served them with spaghetti pasta and classic tomato passata spiced with some herbs.

ibrente's picture
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Quick and easy, and absolutely delicious!

twinkle48's picture
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Really easy to make and my ultra fussy vegetarian teenager loved these, as did the rest of the family.

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