Sunday, May 08, 2005

Orecchiette with Mini Soyballs

Orecchiette with Mini Soyballs (Adapted from Veg Times)

2 cups soy crumbles
1 1/2 ounces fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups dry orecchiette pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, cook soy crumbles for 1 1/2 minutes on high. Remove and add 2 tablespoons cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 clove of minced garlic, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper. Mix the ingredients together until well combined and it holds together when squeezed in your hand. Using a tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into balls and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add meatballs and cook until evenly browned on all sides, about 4-8 minutes. Stir in peas and broth - cover, reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, parsley, thyme, remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining minced garlic clove. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the large bowl with the lemon juice mixture - toss well. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper - add meatballs and peas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese right before serving.

Makes about 4 servings.

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