Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic hearty dish that is sure to make an appearance in any home cook’s kitchen… But this humble meal just got a makeover. The meatballs don’t contain meat and the pasta is made entirely from veggies. How can this be? Well, the answer is the magic of plants. The walnuts and black beans give the ‘meatballs’ a meaty texture and the herbs and spices make them even more delicious. The simple tomato sauce adds freshness and the spiralised parsnip acts as the perfect whole food substitute for spaghetti.


2 cups cooked black beans 
1 cup walnuts 
½ cup brown rice flour 
1 large (or 2 small) red onions
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp onion powder 
1 tsp dried thyme 
2 tsp dried oregano 
2 tsp smoked paprika 
½ tsp sea salt 
1 tsp ground black pepper 
2 large parsnips
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic 
Nutritional yeast for topping


Preheat your oven to 170°C.

To make the meatballs, add the walnuts to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until only small chunks remain.

Add the black beans, flour, onion, herbs and spices and blend until all the ingredients come together to form a thick dough.

Taking about one tablespoon at a time, roll the mixture into balls and place onto a baking tray.

Bake for 20 minutes then turn them over and bake for a further 25 minutes or until they are crispy on the outside.

To make the parsnip spaghetti, cut the ends off of the parsnip and turn through a spiraliser (if you do not own a spiraliser, you could use a vegetable peeler and peel the length of the parsnip into long ribbons).

Saute the pasta on a low heat in a pan for about 5 minutes.

To make the tomato pasta sauce, fry off the garlic in a saucepan then add the chopped tomatoes. Allow to simmer.

Once it is reduced and has thickened, it is ready.

Portion out the parsnip pasta into bowls then add the tomato sauce and the meatballs and top with nutritional yeast.

Contributed by Ella Farrugia aka @thecuriousavocado.