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Quinoa Spaghetti with Red Tomato Sauce and Lentil Quinoa Meatballs

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2 min read
Summary

This recipe highlights the versatility and nutrient qualities of quinoa. The tiny seed is high in protein, fiber, iron, and B vitamins and can be used in so many ways. For this dish, it’s the pasta and the meatballs. What other food do you know that can play two major roles in one single plate? And, while making your own tomato sauce might sound daunting, our Basic Red Tomato Sauce is actually quite simple! Pro tip: Double the sauce so you have extra for dipping your meatballs!

Yields2 ServingsPrep Time40 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

Ingredients

 8 lentil quinoa meatballs (or 10, link in notes)
 4 oz quinoa spaghetti (dry)
Basic Red Tomato Sauce
 1 batch basic red tomato sauce (link in notes)
 ¾ cup onion (white, chopped)
 5 cloves garlic (large, minced)
 ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
 ½ cup vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 5 cups organic tomatoes (roma, heirloom or garden [about 9 large], cored and deseeded, chopped)
 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
 2 tbsp basil (chopped)

Directions

1

Make ahead of time: Make the Lentil Quinoa Meatballs and keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 30 days.

2

Make the Basic Red Tomato Sauce ahead of time: Heat a large stovetop pan on medium-high until it’s hot enough that a droplet of water forms a mercury ball (and not just splatters). This will take about a minute or so.

3

Once the pan is hot enough, add the onions and dry saute them by continuously stirring until they start to soften and brown slightly.

4

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

5

Add the chile flakes, if using.

6

At this point, add the vegetable stock to deglaze the pan and let cook for 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

7

To finish the sauce, add the tomatoes and cook on low-medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure the tomatoes don’t stick.

8

Add salt and ground black pepper then remove from heat.

9

Lastly, stir in the basil and stir to combine. and keep in the refrigerator up to 7 days or in the freezer for 30 days.

10

If you’ve made your meatballs and tomato sauce ahead of time, make sure to bring them to room temperature (if they were frozen, first bring them to the refrigerator for 24–48 hours before bringing them to room temperature when you’re ready to prepare your meal).

11

Make your pasta according to the package instructions. Set aside.

12

In a large stovetop pan, heat 8–10 “meatballs” over medium heat. Cook for 5–8 minutes until browned on two sides, flipping halfway through, once one side is brown, to brown the other side.

13

In a large pot, heat the tomato sauce over medium heat until hot, about 3–5 minutes. Do not overcook as you don’t want the tomatoes to reduce anymore.

14

Add the pasta to a large bowl. Toss in the tomato sauce desired (reserve some to serve on the side for the meatballs if you’d like). Portion onto two plates.

15

Add 4–5 Lentil Quinoa Meatballs to the pasta dish.

16

Serve with extra sauce, if desired.

Chef's Notes

Lentil Quinoa Meatballs
Recipe can be found here.

Substitutions
Use red wine vinegar in place of sherry vinegar.

Substitute parsley for basil.

Use yellow onion or shallots in place of white onion.

Double the sauce
While this sauce is enough for two people and it sounds like 9 large tomatoes is a lot, it reduces a lot during cooking. This is enough for two people, however, if you like a generous amount of pasta sauce, then consider doubling the recipe.

Add more nutritious and delicious ingredients
Top the pasta with herbs like parsley and basil.

Stir in some spinach or other leafy greens.

Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top of the pasta dish.

More chef’s notes
Visit the Lentil Quinoa Meatballs recipe page for more ideas, suggestions and substitutions.

Ingredients

 8 lentil quinoa meatballs (or 10, link in notes)
 4 oz quinoa spaghetti (dry)
Basic Red Tomato Sauce
 1 batch basic red tomato sauce (link in notes)
 ¾ cup onion (white, chopped)
 5 cloves garlic (large, minced)
 ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
 ½ cup vegetable broth (unsalted, preferably homemade)
 5 cups organic tomatoes (roma, heirloom or garden [about 9 large], cored and deseeded, chopped)
 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
 2 tbsp basil (chopped)

Directions

1

Make ahead of time: Make the Lentil Quinoa Meatballs and keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for 30 days.

2

Make the Basic Red Tomato Sauce ahead of time: Heat a large stovetop pan on medium-high until it’s hot enough that a droplet of water forms a mercury ball (and not just splatters). This will take about a minute or so.

3

Once the pan is hot enough, add the onions and dry saute them by continuously stirring until they start to soften and brown slightly.

4

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

5

Add the chile flakes, if using.

6

At this point, add the vegetable stock to deglaze the pan and let cook for 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

7

To finish the sauce, add the tomatoes and cook on low-medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure the tomatoes don’t stick.

8

Add salt and ground black pepper then remove from heat.

9

Lastly, stir in the basil and stir to combine. and keep in the refrigerator up to 7 days or in the freezer for 30 days.

10

If you’ve made your meatballs and tomato sauce ahead of time, make sure to bring them to room temperature (if they were frozen, first bring them to the refrigerator for 24–48 hours before bringing them to room temperature when you’re ready to prepare your meal).

11

Make your pasta according to the package instructions. Set aside.

12

In a large stovetop pan, heat 8–10 “meatballs” over medium heat. Cook for 5–8 minutes until browned on two sides, flipping halfway through, once one side is brown, to brown the other side.

13

In a large pot, heat the tomato sauce over medium heat until hot, about 3–5 minutes. Do not overcook as you don’t want the tomatoes to reduce anymore.

14

Add the pasta to a large bowl. Toss in the tomato sauce desired (reserve some to serve on the side for the meatballs if you’d like). Portion onto two plates.

15

Add 4–5 Lentil Quinoa Meatballs to the pasta dish.

16

Serve with extra sauce, if desired.

Quinoa Spaghetti with Red Tomato Sauce and Lentil Quinoa Meatballs