Spicy Meatless Meatballs
SERVES 6 TO 8 AS A STARTER OR 4 AS AN ENTRÉE
3∕4 cup skinned hazelnuts
or sliced almonds 4 cups (two 12- oz. bags) mixed frozen riced broccoli and cauliflower, thawed and drained; or 4 cups leftover cooked broccoli and/or cauliflower, blitzed in a food processor until finely chopped Salt and pepper 1 cup freshly grated
Parmigiano- Reggiano 1∕2 to 2∕3 cup plain dry
breadcrumbs 1 large egg, lightly beaten 3 large cloves garlic, grated
or finely chopped 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. ( 1∕3 palmful) dried thyme 2 tsp. fresh lemon zest or
1∕2 tsp. dried lemon zest 1 tsp. ( 1∕3 palmful) ground
cumin 1 tsp. ( 1∕3 palmful) crushed red pepper Cooking spray for spraying, or olive or canola oil for brushing
2 tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped Salt and pepper Pinch of ground cinnamon 1 can (about 14 oz.) crushed or
diced fire- roasted tomatoes 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce Hot sauce (such as sriracha or Chipotle Tabasco)
■ Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
■ In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Pulse into finely ground crumbs, but not into a paste. (You should have about 1 cup.)
■ Place the drained cooked broccoli and cauliflower in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in the nuts, cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, thyme, lemon zest, cumin, and crushed red pepper. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a large walnut. Arrange on the baking sheet; spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil. Roast the meatballs, turning once, until golden, 15 to 18 minutes. ■ Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cinnamon. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Reduce heat. Let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Before serving, add a little hot sauce to taste.
■ Serve the meatless meatballs with the sauce for dipping or topping.