Culture. Eat it
7 June 2019
Italian-style lentil meatballs
Today I take you to the East, where the most humble ingredients meet the richest flavors. As happens in the lentil meatballs with marinara sauce. I take you to India, where the flavors and aromas are so intense to confuse you, the sounds to stun you.
I take you to a place of the soul that has stolen my heart.
In Mumbai I ate lentils daily, from breakfast to dinner. I woke up and, still in my dressing gown, I drank a ginger chai. Then I dress up for the day. We all had breakfast together, the whole family gathered together, speaking of each one timeline of the day. Meanwhile Ram – Saint Ram – served breakfast, savoury and made up of colorful bowls placed in the center of the table. At least a couple of these contained, in rotation:
- idli – steamed meatballs made from rice flour and lentils;
- vada – savory lentil fritters;
- dosa – crisp rolled crepes; also these based on rice flour and lentils, to be filled with what you prefer: from onion and coriander or tomatoes and potatoes;
- sambhar – a lentil soup with carrots, onion, tomatoes, tamarind, turmeric and various spices.
The latter was my favorite, combined with homemade yogurt. And it is absurd how much here and now, in Italy, I would feel crazy to eat it for breakfast. Yet there it had his why, which certainly has something to do with the energy we breathe in that part of the world so complementary to ours.
One thing that embarrasses us, at first glance, is the fact that cutlery is conceived only in serving dishes. Everything that ends up in your dish should be eaten strictly with your hands.
An exercise in style, do not pour the thousand thousand sauces up to the elbow.
Just to tell you that yesterday I wanted lentils. I wanted them in a new shape. And I also wanted Italian marinara meatballs, but I had already eaten red meat and I decided not to do it more than once a week. So, making a virtue out of necessity, I came up with these tasty, quick and healthy vegetarian meatballs. I swear they have a texture and a taste so fantastic that you won’t regret those of meat too much. And your body thanks you.
Travel is movement. When you move the horizon changes, it’s different for each step forward as well as for every step backwards. Colors, lights and shapes of earth that touch the sky change.
Because the key to the journey slips into that keyhole called horizon. At its opening it reveals new thoughts, changed perspectives, wished knowledge. This is why the wandering horizons – be they physical or sons of mind – are the most beautiful one. Movement and change are essential aspects of life, is not journey too?
LENTIL MEATBALLS WITH MARINARA SAUCE – THE VEGETARIAN RECIPE
- 100 g of brown lentils
- 100 g of red lentils
- a quarter of white onion
- a small piece of fresh garlic
- 50 g of bread
- fresh parsley q.s.
- one whole egg
- ginger, sweet paprika, ground black pepper q.s.
- 200 ml of tomato sauce
- a handful of fresh tomatoes
- a pinch of cane sugar
- salt and extra virgin olive oil q.s.
- basil leaves, fresh mint and lemon zest to serve
How to make tasty vegetarian meatballs with marinara sauce
- Rinse and cook the lentils for 15/20 minutes in salted water. Once cooked, drain and leave to cool in the colander so that they dry well (I usually leave them overnight to drain, but two or three hours should suffice).
- Blend together the lentils, bread, egg, spices, onion and garlic.
- Shape small lentil meatballs.
- In a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sauté the chopped tomatoes, pour the tomato sauce and let cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt, give it a pinch of sugar and put into two basil leaves.
- Arrange the vegetarian meatballs in the sauce, turning them gently after a few minutes, so that the sauce completely covers them. Cook them on a low heat for a quarter of an hour.
- The light lentil meatballs are ready. Serve accompanying them with fresh mint leaves and a splash of lemon zest so as not to miss anything.
WHILE YOU'RE TASTING LISTEN:
Photos: Sara Cartelli
Once upon a time there was a 30 years old girl, and she has not the slightest idea what it would be at 32: one, no one but for sure no one hundred thousand. Daughter, sister, friend, mom of a dog, woman of an amazing man. Thinker fulltime, practices the Universal Love. Always looking for which direction take to and who to be doing it. Thank God everything flows. Panta Rei. And in the end, as in a beautiful garden Bahai, she will be delighted by lighting… and she lived happily ever after.