Linguini and Mheatballs with balsamic ragu

Seriously hearty mheatballs, in tomato sauce, loosen your belt in advance!

Served Mheatballs

The kids were at me for ages for some meat balls. I figured I can do that. Cue some trial and error on my behalf to save you the hassle.

Yeild 20 – 24 mheatballs.

Ingredients Mheatballs:

220g mixed nuts (I used walnuts 1/2, brazil nuts, 1/4, Almonds and hazel nuts 1/4)
1 Red onion,
1 carton chickpeas drained 230g,
3 Tbs nutritional yeast,
4 cloves garlic, ( I like a garlicy mheatball so if you don’t go for 2)
2 tsp mixed herbs,
2 tsp cumin,
2 tsp paprika,
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper,
1/2 tsp salt,
350 g vital wheat gluten,
400 ml Veg stock made and let cool, I make less and pop in a few ice cubes to chill quicker.

Ingredients Balsamic Ragu:

1 Can chopped tomatoes,
1 Carton Passata,
4 tbs tomato puree,
1/2 medium red onion (Diced),
2 cloves garlic minced,
Pinch salt,
Large pinch black pepper,
2 tbs Balsamic vinegar,
2 tsp mixed herbs,
1 tsp paprika,
Hand full of fresh chopped basil.


Method Mheatballs:

    1. Pre heat oven to 180 Deg C for fan or 200 Deg C for standard.
    2. Chop onion, add to food processor along with all other ingredients to Vital wheat gluten.
    3. Blend until only small pieces of nuts remain. you could go until its puree but I like a bite in them.
    4. Transfer to mixer with dough hook attached, add half of the gluten mix well, then add the other half. Make sure there is no clumps of gluten left. The mix will be quite dry.
    5. Pour in cold stock 1/2 first and combine with dough, then add the second half and continue to mix for about 5 min to ensure dough is well mixed.
    6. Get a large baking tray and line with grease proof paper.
    7. Scoop out roughly a heaped table spoon of the dough and shape by hand into your Mheatballs.You should get about 20 – 24 mheatballs from this dough.

mheatballs ready for oven

    1. Place on middle shelf for about 35 min turning once about half way through.
    2. While your mheatballs are in the oven lets make that ragu.

Cooked Mheat balls

Method ragu:

    1. Get a large saute pan add 1 tbs olive oil and heat.
    2. Add onion and let soften for about 1 min,
    3. Add minced garlic and cook for a further 2 min,
    4. Add tomatoes, passata and tomato puree,
    5. Cook for about 8 min on medium heat
    6. Stir in Balsamic, mixed herbs, salt, pepper and paprika.
    7. Let simmer on a medium heat for about 15 min.
    8. Add the finished Mheatballs to the pan and coat well in ragu. The Mheatballs hold up quite well to gentle stirring but even like meat ones they will disintegrate if your too rough.

Swiming in ragu

  1. Simmer for a further 10 min. Just before serving add the freshly chopped basil and combine well.


I love to serve these bad boys with al dente linguine topped with vegan parmesan and a crunchy garlic bread. They are REALLY filling so bear that in mind. I ate 5 with linguini and a piece of garlic bread and I think I#m still full a day later!!


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