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A vegan and gluten free version of the traditional pasta and meatballs
4.75 from 4 votes

Pasta with Mediterranean “meatless” balls – Vegan and Gluten Free

A delicious alternative to pasta with meat balls, the balls in this summery gluten free and vegan dish are made with chickpeas and flavoured with lemon, sundried tomato and fresh basil.
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins


For the Tomato Sauce:

  • Glug good quality olive oil
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • 680 ml bottle of Biona Passata*
  • Salt & Pepper to season

For the Vegan Meatballs:

  • 1 dsp good quality olive oil
  • ½ onion – finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic – peeled and chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin Biona Chickpeas* in water – drained and rinsed
  • 8 Suma Sun Dried Tomato halves* – cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbs oil from the sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbs Goodness Organic Pinenuts*
  • 1 tbs Granovita White Milled Chia Seed*
  • Juice and Zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tbs Clearspring Organic Japanese Tamari*
  • 4 – 5 basil leaves – finely chopped
  • 1 tbs gluten free flour - if needed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


For the Tomato Sauce:

  • Gently sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until starting to turn golden, reduce the heat and add the passata. Add a splash of water to the empty passata bottle, give a good shake and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Gently cook for about 20 minutes stirring from time to time (use a splatter guard to cover the pan otherwise it can make a mess on the hob) until reduced by about a third.
  • This sauce freezes well, so you can either make in advance or freeze the leftovers.

For the Vegan Meatballs:

  • Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until they start to turn golden.
  • Blitz half the chickpeas in a food processor and lightly mash the remainder, so they are broken up, but still retain some texture.
  • Place all the ingredients apart from the flour into a bowl and mix well together.
  • Using your hands roll into bite sized balls. If the mixture is dry add a little water, and if too sticky add a little gluten free flour or some more ground chia to encourage the balls to bind together.
  • Leave in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, then fry them in a generous glug of oil for 6 to 8 minutes. Whilst they are cooking cook the your choice of gluten free pasta as per the packet instructions (I used A La Eco fettuccine*), and heat the tomato sauce. Stir the sauce into the drained pasta, and serve topped with the chickpea balls
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.