Tag Archives: vegan meat balls


Rich tomato pasta

Tomato pasta

This is a simple, rich and tomatoey pasta which doesn’t require much else and is bliss served by itself.  The whole garlic bulbs are sweet and creamy when cooked with the sauce.  If you wish you could serve with vegan meatballs or vegan sausages.  We also had some spinach on the side.

The only downside to this this recipe is that although it is very simple, the tomatoes do need to be simmered on low for a few hours…..this is what makes the sauce rich and creamy and so very perfect transforming a regular tomato pasta into food fit for angels and all things heavenly.

You could use any sort of pasta but I opted for Casarecce which is currently my favourite. Summer is here, so what better time to buy a bag load of ripe, sweet tomatoes and make your pasta divine.

Serves 4-6


400 grams pasta, I used Casarecce or whatever you prefer
1000-1200 grams large ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
100ml red wine (optional, replace with water)
Sea salt
3-4 whole bulbs of garlic
700ml water
Some fresh herbs – whatever you have growing in the garden; marjoram, basil, oregano will do fine
Vegan meatballs to go with the pasta (VegiDeli by VBites, click on link)

Tomato pasta(3)


  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add all the chopped tomatoes, salt and red wine
  • Bring to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 2.5-3 hours…yes, you do need to cook the tomatoes really well

Tomato pasta(2)

  • After a couple of hours of cooking the tomatoes, mash them with a potato masher. Pop the whole garlic bulbs, a little water if required, cover and cook for a further 30-60 minutes until the sauce is thick and rich
  • Add 700ml water, bring to boil and add the pasta. Cook on low for about 20 minutes, stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan
  • Add fresh herbs, stir and serve with vegan meatballs or sausages if you wish

Rice with chana dal & meatballs


Rice with chana dal & meatballs(4)

I believe rice with chana dal is a Hyderabadi recipe which my mother used to make.  I never really had her recipe but have tried my best to emulate her creation.  She didn’t use meatballs either but I thought it would make for a more complete one-pot meal so decided to go for it and, guess what, it worked a treat!

Remember that rice must be boiled in a large saucepan with a lot of water, a little like cooking pasta.  As for chana dal, I usually add a pinch of baking soda which reduces the cooking time – do the same when cooking beans.


250 grams Basmati rice, soak for 1 hour
½ cup chana dal, soak for 1 hour
Pinch of baking powder
2 onions, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, grated
2 inch piece ginger, grated
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
3+1 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons dried mint
8-10 meatballs (I used VBites available online and from Holland & Barrett in the chiller)


  1. Cook chana dal with the baking powder until cooked but not soft and mushy
  2. Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons of oil until golden brown
  3. Remove from heat and add turmeric, curry powder, garlic, ginger, ½ teaspoon salt and tomato puree and fry on low heat for about 5 minutes – add small amounts of water to keep it from sticking
  4. Add the chana dal, meatballs and gently fry for a couple of minutes
  5. In a deep saucepan, boil the rice in plenty of water with half teaspoon of salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes once it comes to the boil – you need to keep checking the rice and don’t let it overcook, just cooked or slightly al dente is best
  6. Strain the rice in a colander
  7. Put 1 tablespoon of oil and ¼ cup of water in the pan
  8. With a spatula, put about one-third of the rice in the pan
  9. Layer the rice with the chana dal and meat balls
  10. Top this with the rest of the rice and sprinkle with dried mint
  11. Cover the lid with a tea cloth and steam rice for 5 minutes on medium heat and then 15 minutes on low heat
  12. Carefully lift the lid – if it is steaming the rice is ready to serve
  13. Serve with a simple salad …..or

Avocado, red onion & tomato salad

and/or yogurt and cucumber

Mas o khiar(2)