Lentil Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce
I forgot to take the final picture again. Should I have it for lunch so that I can rectify this recurring nightmare?
(pause for 30 minutes.)
Yes. I really did go heat up, photograph and eat the leftovers for lunch. It was good. And now I have a picture. Win-win.
I continue to agonize about what stuff to make on Meatless Mondays. It seems I am constantly being foiled on one level or another through this whole deal, and yesterday was no disappointment. I returned back from a ski trip with Dave (hence no new posts last week) to find my house destroyed, no food in the house, dishes and laundry up to my eyeballs.
I only said that to upset my Mom, who has begun to read my blog. I like to keep things interesting for her and make sure she is paying attention. Because you see, she and my dad are the the ones who stayed at my house with the kids.
The house was fine. She did the laundry.
All they really did ‘wrong’ was eat the shrimp I was planning to use for Meatless Monday yesterday.
Which was entirely fine, as I had another plan up my sleeve.
A few weeks ago, Jennifer Perillo, a friend on Twitter, posted an intriguing photo and labeled it “lentil ricotta meatballs.” They looked so good and have been on my brain ever since. The timing was perfect, as she posted the recipe last week. Just in time for me!
I won’t retell her delicious recipe story. You can find out all the details by visiting her yourself. She is an amazing cook. Very inventive and creative. Not like me at all. I have very few epiphanies where I entirely create my own thing. Rather, I put my own spin on other people’s things. Necessity being my mother of invention, since I refuse to go to the grocery store to buy necessary ingredients.
Anyway, I digress. Visit Jennie (yes, she spells it the same as me) to find out how to make these delicious meatballs step-by-photographed-step.
Mine were successful, but next time, I would make a few adjustments to my process. My beans were runnier than hers and I needed more bread crumbs. I would, for sure, recommend going the extra mile with the bread crumbs. I used some from a can in my pantry. They were almost a year old. I could taste them. And I would have preferred to taste some of my own delicious bread used as bread crumbs.
I also used pureed cottage cheese in place of her homemade ricotta.
Cuz I was lazy.
That, too, would have made a yummy difference.
I also threw in some additional italian seasonings of oregano, basil, and garlic.
Finally, my sauce. I used frozen tomato sauce made last fall from the garden, which was good. Added some really wrinkly grape tomatoes (which weren’t)…
…garlic, sage, red wine, about 1/4 cup of half and half, and a dash of sugar. The sauce was good. I just wish we’d have had more, because when I put the meatballs into the sauce, they seemed to cannibalize it. I think they absorbed some of it. Which would have been just fine if there had been enough to start with. Still. Were I to do it again, I’d keep them separate until the end.
In hindsight, I would have also changed one other thing.
I would have lied to Charlie that they were made with lentils.
He was totally freaked out. Not that he doesn’t like lentils, because he does. He just couldn’t get his mind wrapped around the fact that the meatballs were made out of lentils. So he picked and picked. Finally ate them and liked them. He kept staring at the innards and saying, “I don’t get how these are lentils.”
Plain and simple: lying would have been the way to go.