I’ve had a can of cannellini beans sitting in the pantry for quite some time now with the intent of making some type of chili but never got around to doing so. To my surprise, meatballs actually came to mind. Good thing I had a handful of basil available at hand because what is pasta and meatballs without basil? CRAZINESS. Not many people would consider a ‘beanball’ (haha, that doesn’t sound right) to be a perfect pairing with pasta but let’s prove them wrong!
Similar to my oven-baked meatballs, these are tender and full of flavor, and slightly similar in recipe… if I didn’t tell my boyfriend there was zero turkey, beef, pork or veal in this, he might not even have noticed.
Served alongside a bowl of campanelle pasta and we are good to go – love how sauce-absorbent these little guys are!
- 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian campanelle pasta
Before you begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Add beans,onion, and garlic to a blender or food processor and pulse 5 times until thoroughly chopped.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in basil, oregano, egg, panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Form the meatballs about the size of a golf-ball. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and split the mixture in half. Place the meatballs on the baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, prepare your pasta and heat up your sauce. Add the meatballs to the sauce.
Dish up and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil – and enjoy!