Meatless Monday – Mushroom meatball subs

Who doesn't love meatball subs? The family won’t miss the meat in these delicious and healthier meatballs with Portebellini-filled mushrooms.

Serves 6

You’ll need: For the mushroom meatballs – 500g Portabellini mushrooms, finely diced; 1 onion, diced; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 Tbsp olive oil; 1 cup quinoa, cooked; 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained, rinsed and lightly mashed; 1 XL egg, lightly beaten; ¼ cup breadcrumbs; ½ cup flour; ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated; 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce; ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped; 1 Tbsp dried oregano; 1 tsp salt; ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper.

For the sauce – 1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes; 1 Tbsp olive oil; 2 cloves garlic, minced; ¼ cup fresh basil leaves; 1 tsp oregano; 1 tsp chilli flakes; salt and pepper to taste.

For the buns – 6 brioche-style hotdog buns; 2 Tbsp butter, melted.

For garnish – 1 bunch fresh basil leaves; Parmesan cheese.

How to:

Preheat oven to 180˚C 

For the meatballs:

Drizzle olive oil into a large frying pan, sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant. 

Add the finely chopped mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have released all their liquid and begin to brown. Set aside and allow to cool. 

In a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. 

Once the mushrooms have cooled add them to the bowl and mix. 

Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized balls. 

Spread out evenly onto a metal baking tray and bake for 20 min at 180˚C. 

For the sauce:

In a small saucepan sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add the tinned tomatoes, basil leaves and oregano. Simmer until thick, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce has thickened remove the basil leaves and season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. 

For the buns:

Cut each bun in half and brush the insides with melted butter. Toast the buns, cut side down, in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown.  

To assemble the subs:

Begin by spreading the sauce over the bottoms of each bun. Add the meatballs on top and liberally grate parmesan cheese over them (best to do this while the meatballs are still hot so the cheese will slightly melt and stick to the meatballs).  

Top with fresh basil leaves, the top bun and enjoy!

* Recipe & image by the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association.

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