Zucchini Tagliatelle with Bean Balls

Take a step outside of your comfort zone.  Be bold and be confident.  Go ahead and wear that eyeliner that you’ve been too afraid to try, bake a souffle, say hello to your crush, do what you’ve been meaning to do but have been too nervous to.  People will love you for who you are, so go ahead and let your beautiful self shine.

But now, let’s talk about zucchini and black beans.  This dish is wow.  Who knew that ribbons of zucchini with vegetarian meat balls made out of black beans could be so dang satisfying?

I’ve made bean balls before, but these are perhaps my favorite.  So simple, so zesty…  And the best part is that the binder is oats.  I’m always running out of breadcrumbs (thankfully, it’s a very rare occasion in which I run out of oats), which usually stunts my bean burger or bean ball attempts.

Then of course there are the noodles.  Again, so simple; and again, so dang tasty!  Zucchini tagliatelle may be out of your comfort zone, so go ahead and give it a go!  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

You know what else is madly delicious?  https://happyspinach.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/japanese-radish-noodle-salad/

Zucchini Tagliatelle with Bean Balls

Inspired by The Vegan Stoner (http://www.theveganstoner.com/)

Bean Balls:

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 teaspoons liquid aminos*

a heaping 1/2 cup whole grain rolled oats

bread crumbs, or flaked oats**

Zucchini Tagliatelle:

4 medium zucchini

liquid aminos*

one recipe Bright Tomato Sauce (see below)

olive oil, for sauteing

In a medium bowl, mash together the beans and liquid aminos.  Throw in your oats and stir to combine.  The batter will be moist, but that’s okay.  Scoop the bean mixture into 12 equal balls.  Roll them in the breadcrumbs and set them on a plate.  If you can, let them sit in your fridge for 2-4 hours covered.

To prepare the tagliatelle, first trim the ends of your zucchini.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise to create strips that have similar dimensions to tagliatelle or any other flat, long pasta.

Heat a medium-sized pan over medium heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and allow that to become hot.  When it is ready, add in your bean balls and cook until golden brown and hot.

Heat a medium/large skillet over medium-high heat.  Throw in your zucchini and a few splashes of liquid aminos.  Toss to coat and allow to cook until desired doneness is achieved.

To serve, make a bed of the zucchini tagliatelle and top with a ladelfull of Bright Tomato Sauce.  Nestle 2-3 bean balls on top and enjoy!

*substitute soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari

**Pulse whole grain rolled oats in a food processor until crumb-like in texture

Serves 4

Bright Tomato Sauce

1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

6 large cloves garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar

a heaping 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

a pinch of red pepper flakes

kosher salt, to taste

a large handful of Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

In a blender, pour in your tomatoes.  Blend until desired chunkiness or smoothness is achieved.  Set aside.

Heat a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Pour in the olive oil and allow to warm before throwing in the garlic.  Add the garlic and saute briefly, 30 seconds or so.  Pour in your tomatoes and stir.  Add in your sugar, basil, oregano, pepper flakes, and some salt.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until desired thickness.  I like my sauce rather thick, so I let it go for the longer time.  On the flip side, if it becomes too thick, you can always thin it with some water.

A few minutes before serving, toss in your parsley.  Taste and readjust the seasonings if necessary.

Makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta

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