Light, yet deeply flavored artichoke and chickpea meatballs are served with pappardelle pasta tossed in a homemade pesto packed with fresh herbs and greens. Seared artichoke hearts and chopped fresh tomatoes complete the dish. Vegan. —Michelle Lee
For the meatballs:
can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
can of large artichoke hearts, drained & rinsed
panko bread crumbs
vital wheat gluten
cloves garlic, peeled
zest & juice of one small lemon
leaves of fresh basil
red chili flake
For the pasta:
medium tomato, diced
pesto sauce, homemade or store-bought
servings dry pappardelle or other pasta (according to package serving sizes)
Set 4 artichoke hearts aside for later. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all chickpea meatball ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a rough paste – be careful not to over-process.
Scoop tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture and roll gently with your hands to form balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on one side, then flip over and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare a large pot of boiling, salted water for your pasta.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cut your reserved artichoke hearts in half lengthwise and sear with the cut side down for about 5 minutes without turning or moving them. The artichokes are done when there is even browning on the cut side. Set aside.
Now is a good time to start cooking your pasta.
Add the minced shallot to the skillet and cook until just translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add your pesto to the skillet and gently nestle the meatballs into the sauce. Turn the meatballs once, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.
Drain the pasta. I find it is easiest to toss the pasta with one large scoop of pesto first, instead of tossing all the pasta with all the sauce and meatballs. Then plate the pasta first, top with sauce and meatballs, then garnish with the seared artichokes and diced tomatoes. Enjoy!