Veggie balls with
‘courgetti’ & tomato



This is a lighter take on the classic meat balls and pasta and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

serves 6 


400g cherry tomatoes on the vine
3 garlic cloves (no need to peel)
olive oil, for drizzling
sea salt
4 tbsp coconut oil
5 large courgettes
1 x 28g pack basil, leaves only

For the veggie balls:
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained
300g sweet potatoes
300g carrots
300g parsnips
75g flour of choice, sifted, plus extra for rolling (I used gram (chickpea) flour)
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika (we used La Chinata)


Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.

To make the sauce, put the tomatoes on a baking tray with the garlic cloves; drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss to mix. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

For the veggie balls, dry-toast the fennel seeds in a frying pan for 1-2 minutes or until they smell fragrant, then grind them using a pestle and mortar or whiz to a powder in a spice grinder, then tip into a bowl. Add the butter beans and mash them with a fork. Peel and grate the sweet potato, carrot and parsnips. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, in this time the gram flour will soak up some moisture from the vegetables and make it easier to form into balls. Add a drop of almond milk (or a milk of your choice) to bind the mixture if it still feels a little dry. Divide the mixture into 18 equal sized balls, about the size of a golf ball.

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and brown the balls, transferring them to a baking tray as they are ready.

Roast the veggie balls in the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, use a spiralizer to turn the courgettes into noodles or a flat-bladed peeler to make ribbons; blanch in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then drain.

When the tomatoes are ready, discard the vines and put the tomatoes in a liquidiser along with any caramelised bits from the baking tray. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and add those along with half of the basil; blend to a sauce.

To serve, divide the ‘courgetti’ between four shallow bowls, place 3 veggie balls on each and pour over some of the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and scatter with rest of the basil.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email