comfort food Italian meatballs pasta white beans
Spaghetti & L33tballsNovember 11, 2012
In childhood, I loved spaghetti and meatballs. My parents would take me to an Italian restaurant and when I would order it, my mom would al...
In childhood, I loved spaghetti and meatballs. My parents would take me to an Italian restaurant and when I would order it, my mom would always say, "Why do you want plain-old-spaghetti-and-meatballs when you can have that at home anytime?" There's just something about it. It's unlike most other meatstuff I can think of, though just as gross. A mish-mash of meatstuff with a whole bunch of other stuff, baked and smothered in amazing sweet and tangy red sauce. Sounds gross-- but really, really great. It isn't like I need to explain why spaghetti and meatballs are good. You already know. But since my meatball days ended, I have tried many many meatless meatballs, and have had trouble finding one that really slamdunked it.
Most were mushy inside, without that durable bite that you're looking for in a meatball. The smaller the ball, the less mushy the insides were, but even with small balls, the texture inside hasn't ever been spot-on. I've tried my hand at multiple different beans, and usually rolled with the black beans, but still, mush ensued. Pinto, a nice red-and meaty-colored bean yielded even mushier results and kidney beans were exceptionally dry after baking. Alright white beans, you're up.
Winner! I love the creaminess but not mushiness that baked white beans have. They aren't solid starchballs the way the kidney beans were, but they weren't mushy like black or pinto beans either. These baked well, and had crispy exteriors, but once doused in sauce (the way an Italian meatball outta be), they retained no crisp. So I fried them. I hate frying things. I have no clue what I'm doing. But these meatballs really benefitted from the fry. They were totally perfect. I really hate to say that to get good meatless meatballs you have to fry them-- but I'm worrying that it might be true.
Alas, the vegan meatball chronicles are not over! I will return victorious with fry-free and perfect polpetti! Just you wait...