Big Flavors from the Farm Volume 2: Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

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This is part 2 of a feature on Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. You can find part 1 here.

Farm fresh veggies and herbs are blended with 2 types of beans to form this delicious, meat-free spin on meatballs. Perfect for Meatless Monday!

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

I brought home some gorgeous greens from the farm along with a jar of Hilltop Hanover’s Marinara Sauce (made from their own heirloom tomatoes!) and thought it would be fun to cook up a spin on traditional pasta with meatballs.

The Fordhook chard was so vibrant and delicious – I knew it would be a great addition!

I also used some of the scallions from the farm – it was so cool that these things were in the ground that morning and made their way to my plate that night!

A photo posted by Ashley Covelli (@bigflavors) on

I actually ended up making this recipe twice. I wasn’t able to get the texture totally perfect for frying (which was my original idea), but baking was a great alternative.

The first time I made them, I used regular breadcrumbs. The second time I went with panko. Both were good, but the panko definitely made them a little more firm.

Big Flavors from the Farm Volume 2: Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

I let my son pick out the pasta that I served this over – he loved the look of gemelli!

And as for the sauce – go with whatever your favorite is. I absolutely fell in love with Hilltop Hanover’s marinara – it was just bursting with ripe tomato flavor.

My husband is Italian and he’s big on not using sauce straight from the jar. Homemade is preferable, but if he’s using a jarred one, he always adds more flavor to it by sautéing garlic and sometimes onion or shallot, a bay leaf and red pepper flakes in oil until the garlic starts to brown before adding the sauce. He lets it reduce for a looooong time, seasons it with salt and pepper and adds red wine for the final 5-10 minutes of cooking time.

Big Flavors from the Farm Volume 2: Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

I just told him to trust me with this one – I dumped it right from the jar into the saucepan to warm up, then served it.

It. Was. Perfection.

I’m definitely going to be picking up more the next time I visit the farm. Italian hubby approved!

Big Flavors from the Farm Volume 2: Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

Oh, and I highly recommend serving this with My Favorite Garlic Bread – it’s great for dipping into the sauce!

Carbs on carbs… you can’t go wrong!

Thanks again to Michelle and Hilltop Hanover for sending me home with so many delicious goodies to cook with in my tiny kitchen!

Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

Makes 4 Servings (about 7 polpette per serving)

Italian-Style Veggie Polpette

Farm fresh veggies and herbs are blended with 2 types of beans to form this delicious, meat-free spin on meatballs. Perfect for Meatless Monday!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cups (packed) roughly chopped chard leaves (I used a Fordhook variety)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
15.5-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained well
1 green onion, roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn
3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1 cup panko, divided
Cooking spray
Cooked pasta and your favorite marinara sauce, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chard and salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, add white beans, chard, green onion, parsley, basil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Process until everything is well chopped, then pour into a large bowl. In the same food processor bowl, pulse the chickpeas until they're chopped but still have some larger chunks. Add to the bowl with the white bean mixture. Add the Parmesan and 1/2 cup of the panko. Mix ingredients well. Pour remaining panko onto a plate.
  4. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Form the bean mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls, and roll each in the panko, gently pressing so it sticks to the outside. I used a #50 scoop and got about 28 polpette. Arrange polpette on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave room around each. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and continue baking until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  5. Serve over cooked pasta with your favorite marinara sauce and additional grated Parmesan cheese on top. Delicious with garlic bread!

Notes

Original Recipe by Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli

Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars

https://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/big-flavors-from-the-farm-volume-2-italian-style-veggie-polpette/

  • Kristen Chidsey

    This is TOTALLY my kind of meal! I am so excited to give this one a try!

  • A meat-free meatball with red sauce? Wow, I can’t wait to try this on my red sauce-loving husband. Wonder if he’ll figure out what the meatballs are made of?

  • What a beautiful meal Ashley. Wonderful to have all that fresh produce to work with. The meatless meatballs are genius! Thanks for another fabulous recipe!