pasta with italian meat(free)balls and tomato sauce

italian vegan meatballs with tomato sauce and linguini

Allora! A serious comfort food dish with lovely sweet tomato sauce, spicy with a hint of lemon peel and garlic, covering fluffy umami veggie-balls. Easy and rich – a real treat!

cooks in

60 minutes




4 persons


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Tomato sauce

  • 2 x 400 g canned tomatoes (go for San Marzano)
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (depending on size)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Juice from ½- 1 lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil

Vegan meatballs

  • 750 g moldable vegan mince
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp mustard (we used Dijon)
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 3 gloves of garlic (crushed/grated)
  • 2 tbsp good soy sauce
  • 1 red onion
  • 1-2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black or white pepper
  • Oil for frying


  • 400 g linguine pasta
  • Water
  • Salt


  • Nutritional yeast


Tomato sauce

  1. Chop the onion finely and the garlic super-fine.
  2. Add oil to a pan and put on medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan once warm. Cook gently on medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and sweet.
  4. Add tomato purée and cook for a minute or so.
  5. Add lemon juice and cook for another minute.
  6. Add tomatoes (crush them in your hands if whole), herbs and spices.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil and taste.
  8. Season with salt, peppar and lemon zest.
  9. Taste, if a bit flat add more lemon juice and salt.
  10. If the tomatoes are not sweet enough, you may need to add a bit of sweetener to balance the sauce.

Vegan meatballs

  1. If frozen, de-frost the mince in room temperature for a few hours.
  2. Chop the onions, smash the garlic and add to the mince together with spices, soy, vinegar, tomato purée and mustard. Wait with adding the salt.
  3. Mix well and  have a taste, season with salt if needed. Does it taste a bit flat? Add more vinegar and salt.
  4. Distribute some oil on a regular plate. Roll up the mince to nice ball (we went for ping pong ball size), and put the balls on the oiled up plate.
  5. Heat a pan on medium-high heat. Add oil once warm and ”pour” in the balls from the oiled plate.
  6. Fry until golden brown all over.
  7. Once done, pour the meatballs and the cooking juices/oil into the tomato sauce.


  1. Bring approx. 2 liters of cold water to the boil.
  2. Add 1% of salt to the water, it should taste like the ocean.
  3. Once boiling add the linguine and cook al-dente. I usually cook it for one minute less than the lower end indicated on the packaging, taste the pasta at this time. It should have a slight resistance but not be ”hard” in the middle. If needed let it cook for one minute extra.
  4. Grab the pasta with a weapon of your choice and pull it into the tomato sauce. Save the pasta water.
  5. Mix in the pasta with the tomato sauce. The dish should be elegant and loose, if needed add a bit of pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit.
  6. Finish off with a bit handful of nutritional yeast!
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