1 1/2 cups (1 - 15 ounce can) pinto beans, drained/rinsed in hot water
3/4 cup white onion, diced
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
2 Tbsp red wine
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned Panko breadcrumbs (fine)
2 tsp chopped garlic(roasted or raw)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fine black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder (or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or more bread crumbs)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, for saute
chopped basil or parsley garnish
vegan Parmesan on top (optional)
1. Start by opening your can of beans and rinsing the beans very well in hot water. This will help soften the beans for easy mashing.
2. Add the rinsed beans to a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork, very well.
3. Prep your ingredients by chopping the parsley, onion and mushrooms.
4. In a large saute pan, over high heat, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. When oil is hot add in the onions, mushrooms, parsley and garlic. Saute for about 4-5 minutes, reducing heat to medium about a minute after cooking.
5. When the saute mixture has reduced in volume quite a bit and onions caramelizing, turn off heat and add in your splash of red wine. Turn heat back on to high for one more minute.
6. Just before you turn off the heat you can add in the salt, chili powder, pepper and any additional spices you may like to add. You can taste the mixture and it should be slightly "over-seasoned" since the beans have not been seasoned yet.
7. Fold the saute mixture into the beans. Then fold in the bread crumbs and the nutritional yeast. Your mixture should be quite sticky and thick now. Add more yeast or bread crumbs if your mixture needs thickening.
8. You can either place your mixture in the fridge to chill for a half hour (to help with handling, or just go right into the saute process.
9. Pause a moment and heat up your pasta water pot and also pour your pasta sauce into a large oven-friendly dish. Place the pasta sauce dish in a 375 degree oven to heat.
10. Saute your balls: Heat a splash of olive oil in your saute pan and add your formed balls. You can to roll your formed balls in a bit of the bread crumbs before placing on the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for about one minute on each side. You really just want to cook and caramelize that outside edge of the balls. The remaining "cooking" will be done in the oven. *you could also just keep it a bit lighter and simple and bake your balls. However you will be missing out on those caramelized edges from the saute step, and tender sauce spots from the braising step.*
11. Drop your pasta into the pot when the water is boiling. Cook until tender. Drain and toss warm pasta with some red pepper flakes (optional) and EVOO. Spoon about 1 cup of the pasta sauce over top the pasta and toss well. Set aside, covered for now.
12. Take your sauteed balls and carefully place them in the now-hot pasta sauce dish. Then place the pasta dish back in the oven to braise the balls for at least 20 minutes. Oven heat can be 375-400 degrees. Do not cover the dish.
13. Now for assembly! Carefully remove the braised balls from the sauce and set aside. Then in a large bowl or your serving bowl, toss the hot pasta sauce with the warm pasta. Or you can just pour sauce over top pasta and not toss. Add balls over top to serve.
Freshly chopped parsley or basil on top is very nice.