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Canellini Bean 'Meat'balls in an Italian Tomato Sauce

There's nothing like meatballs on big fat fettuccine, smothered in a herby pasta sauce. And these vegetarian 'meat'balls are so incredibly tasty you won't even miss the meat. Better yet, the whole family is bound to love them.

Serves 4 - 6



  • 1½ cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 red capsicum, roasted and skins peeled, roughly chopped

  • ½ onion, peeled and finely chopped or grated

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  • 1½ tspns dried oregano

  • 1 egg (replace with vegan alternative if needed)

  • ½ cup cornflour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Italian Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tblspn olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • 400g tomato passata sauce

  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped OR 2 tspns dried basil

  • 1 tspn dried oregano

  • 100g water

  • 2 tspns maple syrup or sugar

  • salt to taste

  • freshly cracked black pepper

  • 500g packet of dried fetuccine

  • parmesan cheese to serve, omit for vegan option


To make the Italian Tomato Sauce, heat oil in a saucepan and cook garlic for 1 minute, or until just browning. Add remaining ingrediants, bring to a boil, and then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a food processor, combine the beans and roasted capsicums. Blend until chopped, but not completely pureed.

Transfer to a medium-sized bowl with the onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, cornflour, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.

Using 2 tblspn, sized portions, roll 'meat'balls between the palms of your hands and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan and fry balls until brown on all sides. Add to pasta sauce and serve with cooked fetuccine, extra fresh basil, and parmesan.


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