Plant-Based Meatball Bolognese

| 3 March 2015

We know technically ‘bolognese’ has nothing to do with meatballs (it usually indicates pasta with mince-meat based sauce), or ‘plant-based’ but doesn’t it just sound sooo mouthwatering?

So here you go, we hijacked the name (we sure are not the first ones) to show you how to make some bad-ass plant-based meatballs with some mouthwatering tomato sauce and some super fresh and crisp courgette pasta. Sound Good? Read on!

Plant-Based Meatball Bolognese

Plant-Based Meatballs Ingredients:

(serves 2-3)

  • 200g non-green olives (ideally pink – find them in Borough Market)
  • 50g of dried dulse (red seaweed) soaked in pure water for 15 minutes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 100g shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 200g sunflower seeds (soaked and drained)
  • 1 TBLS chia seeds

Seasoning: smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic, a handful of finely chopped parsley



If you have whole olives you will need to pit them. We very much recommend visiting Turkish Deli stall in Borough Market, London for high-quality, great-tasting olives (you can buy loads, most of them keep really well in the fridge).

Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl, mix, and massage well so that the flavours of olives, mushrooms, and red peppers are released and well combined. Then add the chia. Keep mixing until the mixture is sticky enough to form small balls. Alternatively use a food processor to combine all the ingredients apart from chia seeds. When using a food processor, make sure you left your mix slightly chunky in texture.

Form balls, place them on a silicon sheet, and dehydrate for 6-8 hours or overnight at the 42C temperature. Flip the balls and dehydrate further for 2-4 hours. Alternatively, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use un-dehydrated balls in your recipe or use your fan-assisted oven on the lowest setting till the balls have a thin crispy crust formed, but are still soft inside.



Spiralise one green and one yellow courgette, add a small pinch of salt, toss in a big bowl and leave aside.


Juicy Tomato Sauce:

200g of plump cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 cup of soaked and drained sundried tomatoes

2 tsp coconut palm sugar

1 TBLS unprocessed apple cider vinegar

2 TBLS extra virgin olive oil

pinch of unprocessed sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp dried oregano

pinch of freshly ground black pepper



To make a sauce chop all ingredients finely and mix well in a big bowl. Alternatively, process all ingredients in a food processor leaving a bit of chunk and texture.


Pine Nut Parmesan (optional) Ingredients:

1/2 pine nuts

1 TBLS nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder

pinch of unprocessed sea salt



Process all ingredients in a blender or spice mill until you get a crumby texture.


To serve your pasta dish, place spiralised courgette spaghetti on a plate first, followed by a generous dollop or two of tomato sauce. If your meatballs are dehydrated, rehydrate for 1-2 mins before serving in a mix of warm water, extra virgin olive oil, and some herbs (such as dried thyme, oregano, or garlic). Sprinkle with pine nut parmesan and decorate with fresh basil leaves.


With Celebration & Appreciation,

Aiste, Joel & the Wild Team xoxo