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Golden cheesy quinoa balls with zoodles

Posted by Kelly Terry on

INGREDIENTS

100g (1/2 cup) quinoa, rinsed, drained
250ml (1 cup) water
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled, grated
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus extra, to serve
2 tablespoons parmesan, finely grated
1 egg
70g (1 cup, lightly packed) gluten-free multigrain breadcrumbs
100g bocconcini, chopped
8 large zucchini, trimmed
Shaved parmesan, to serve


TOMATO SAUCE
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
500g (2 cups) tomato passata

METHOD

Place quinoa and water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and carrot.Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Set aside to cool.
Process the chickpeas in a food processor until they resemble coarse crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the quinoa, onion mixture, basil, parmesan, egg and breadcrumbs. Mix until well combined. Season. Shape 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture into flat rounds. Place a piece of bocconcini in the centre of each round. Shape mixture around the cheese to form a ball. Place on a tray lined with baking paper.
For the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and oregano. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the passata. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook the quinoa balls, in 2 batches, for 6-8 minutes, turning, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Cut each zucchini in half crossways. Working with one piece at a time, use a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into ‘spaghetti’ (see notes). Place in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 20 seconds. Drain.
Divide zoodles among bowls. Top with the balls and spoon over sauce. Sprinkle with the parmesan and extra basil leaves.

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