Meatless meatballs? Yes please!

Whilst I don’t miss eating meat one iota, I do love a pasta dish with oomph and this is it. Served with homemade garlic bread it’s a Saturday sofa classic for my little family.

This isn’t my own recipe, its’ one my husband found on BBC Good Food: Herby chickpea balls with tom sauce

Easy to make, tastes delicious and so ‘meaty’. I added 1tsp chilli flakes to the sauce because I am not a fan of oregano.


  • 2 slices white bread, crusts off and torn into pieces or vegetarian alternative, 50g roughly chopped and 25g grated 75 g Parmesan
  • 1 can chickpea, drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, 2 roughly chopped and 1 crushed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • small handful basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 560ml jar passata


  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.

Food Waste Tip #1 – If you find your bread is going dry or you have leftover bread for whatever reason, always blitz it in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. They are always handy to have to give a dish an extra something as a topping.

Food Waste Tip #2 – Don’t throw the aquafaba (the chickpea water) save it to make vegan meringues! The recipe I use is this one from BBC Good Food website. You can freeze the left over chickpea water which is handy if you, like me, make your own party treats for kids birthday parties.

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