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Spaghetti and ‘meat’ balls

Yields1 Serving

 1 × 400 g (14 oz) packet spelt spaghetti
 ½ cup each chopped flat-leaf parsley and basil leaves
 1 × 300 g (10½ oz) block tempeh
 1 tbsp olive oil
 1 white or brown onion, diced
 2 celery stalks, diced
 2 garlic cloves, chopped
 1 carrot, grated
 1 zucchini, grated
 1 cup finely chopped mixed herbs (such as oregano, basil, flat-leaf parsley or chives)
 2 tsp chia seeds
 2 tsp brown rice flour
 unrefined salt and cracked black pepper
 1−2 tbsp olive oil, depending on your preference
 1 medium brown onion, diced
 1 garlic clove, crushed
 2 × 400 g (14 oz) BPA-free tins diced tomatoes
 1 tbsp tomato paste
 1 bay leaf
 1 tsp each unrefined salt and cracked black pepper

For the balls, quickly blitz the tempeh in a food processor, keeping it a little chunky. (You can also do this by hand by roughly chopping it first, then putting it in a bowl and mashing with a fork.) Place the tempeh in a mixing bowl and set aside.


Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the onion, celery and garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to change colour, about 2 minutes.


Add the carrot and zucchini and sauté for another minute until the veggies start to soften. Add this mixture to the tempeh along with the herbs, chia seeds and rice flour. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and mix well.


Mould the mixture into walnut-sized balls, squeezing them tightly as you go. Cover and place in the fridge while you make the sauce.


For the Napoli sauce, heat a large frying pan over medium heat, then add your oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.


Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf and seasoning and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens and intensifies in flavour. Gently drop the balls into the sauce and poach for 10 minutes until cooked through.


Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain well.


To serve, arrange the pasta on a large platter, then pour the balls and sauce over the top. Finish with the parsley and basil