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Alfresco meals: Spicy, aromatic vegan meatballs

In need of some dinner inspo this bank holiday weekend? This gorgeous, fresh and light vegan 'meat'ball recipe is a stunning meal to have alfresco this evening. Enjoy the rick aromatic tastes out in the evening sunshine and watch the world go by, imaging yourself in a little Italian piazza, the beating heart of any little town. The fresh herbs, the light and flavoursome 'meat'balls, the thick, tomato sauce with just a hint of heat - it's everything you could aks for to enjoy this gorgeous bank holiday weather.

Group of People Making Toast

You’ll need…

2 cloves garlic

350g cooked lentils

260g mushrooms

1 onion

Dried oregano

1 handful fresh parsley

1 handful fresh basil

Dried basil

1kg ripe tomatoes

50g almond flour

Paprika

1tsp pepper

1/2tsp salt

3tbsp olive oil

Turn on your oven to 200C.

In a large, deep pot, pour in your lentils. Add in enough water that it rises just above the lentils and cook on a medium heat until the lentils have absorbed all the water.

In a frying pan, add your olive oil and warm up over a medium heat, coating the pan before adding chopped onion and garlic.

Once the onions have started to become translucent, add in your finely chopped mushrooms.

Season with black pepper, salt, paprika, dried oregano and dried basil, stirring through until well cooked.

Crop unrecognizable person stirring boiling water in saucepan placed on gas stove near frying pan with appetizing meatballs in tomato sauce

Toss into a blender along with almond flour and cooked lentils and pulse until it is broken down into a thick mixture.

Lay parchment paper out on a flat tray. Scoop out a small amount of the mixture and mold it into a small ball.

Lay them out on your baking tray and spritz with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

In the meantime, clean out your blender and place your tomatoes in it, blending until they are broken down.

Place the mixture in a large, deep pan and set over heat until it begins to thicken.

Add a dash of olive oil, paprika, dried basil and oregano before adding in your cooked meatballs.

Shred fresh parsley and basil over the pan and serve with a pasta of your choice.

Unrecognizable waiter serving pasta on table with glasses in restaurant

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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