Meatless Meatball Heros

December 2011
Meatless Meatball Heros

by 31 people

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Cmon, guys, you can do it: Skip the meat one day a week. And to keep the Fred Flintstones in your family happy, give them this gooey sub made with hearty chickpea-and- mozzarella meatballs instead.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 25 mins

Bake: 30 mins

  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) slivered almonds
  • 1 19 ounce can  chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • EVOO, for drizzling
  • 2 cups jarred roasted garlic pasta sauce
  • 1 large whole grain baguette
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Using a food processor, grind the almonds to the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a potato masher, coarsely mash the chickpeas with the eggs, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in the mozzarella and almonds.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment; coat lightly with EVOO. Form the mixture into 12 golf-ball-size meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a little EVOO. Bake until golden and firm, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the pasta sauce until warmed through. Cut the baguette crosswise into 4 pieces. Split the pieces lengthwise and scoop out a little bread. Brush the baguette lightly with EVOO; toast.
  5. To serve, line the bottom pieces of the bread with the spinach. Spoon on a little bit of the warmed sauce; top with the meatballs and remaining sauce.