Herby Chickpea balls with tomato passata and spaghetti

Yup I’m back! Back from my smashing Aussie holiday. You know me right….I love photography.. … and I love taking pictures of food. and in Australia I had a smashing time cooking up a storm with their local produce! yup..I actually cooked while on holiday. 😉 the taste is absolutely different. most of their fresh produce is locally grown, not imported from China and the dishes I cooked actually tasted better according to the hubby! 😉

Anyway this recipe came up while rummaging for something to cook for a midweek dinner. Lovely. Try it and tell me how it goes.

Recipe ( adapted from Good food magazine)

  • 2 slices white bread, torn into pieces
  • 75g coarsely grated parmesan ( I always buy a block cos it’s cheaper and lasts longer)
  • 400g canned chickpeas ( drained)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves , roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • small handful of basil
  • 1 beated egg
  • 400ml / 1 canned diced tomatoes
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 1 can of anchovies ( secret ingredient! ) but optional
  • 1/2 a large white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 220deg C.

If you have a food processor, get it out and attach the sharp blade. Throw in the bread pieces and parmesan , whizz till you get a breadcrumb consistency. Then add the garlic, drained chickpeas, half the oregano and a few basil leaves. Season well with salt and pepper at this point. Now whiz it up till it just comes together..not mushy. Add the beaten egg with the motor running just enough to bring the whole mixture together. Shape into 18 small balls and place on an oiled baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 15-20minutes, turning halfway. I actually drizzled a little oil onto the chickpeas balls when turning so that it’s a little more well cooked.

While that’s in the oven, get your pot boiling with salted water for the pasta. When the water is boiling, throw in the spaghetti and cook till al dente.

Get a big frying pan on moderate heat, add the chopped white onions and 2-3 cloves of minced garlic. Fry till lightly golden, then add anchovies ,stir for about 2-3 minutes then add the diced tomatoes. Keep cooking on moderate heat for about 15 minutes, add a tsp of balsamic vinegar and the other half of the oregano. Taste now. Season with pepper . Add a handful of chopped basil leaves. Continue cooking on low heat for another 5 minutes, loosening the sauce with the pasta water if needed . ( I used a cup of the pasta water)

Take the chickpea balls out of the oven and let cool.

Take the cooked spaghetti and add to the tomato sauce. Toss and coat the spaghetti well and then serve on individual plates with a few chickpea balls, grated parmesan, some chopped basil leaves and a drizzle of good quality olive oil. Enjoy!



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