Chickpea & Lentil Penne with Lamb Meatballs
Spicy lamb meatballs with a healthy gravy tossed with Chickapea penne, goat cheese and topped with green onions. A comfort food for the season without all the calories.
You guys, I am loving my role as Chickapea Chef. I get to create a new recipe every month and share it with you plus I get to eat all the healthy pasta I want! I have been so inspired by this product because of it’s nutritious benefits and my mind is always whirling with new and delicious ideas.
For example, you could make this dish your own in so many ways:
- Add some dried fruits like golden raisins or dried apricots
- Top it with a few slices of avocado
- Vary your cheeses and try some feta on top
- Vary your herbs – mint would be fabulous on this
I’ve added both red onion and scallions because I crave these flavors in the spring months and they are a natural with lamb.
The gravy was made with low-sodium beef broth and fresh veggies with the help of my handy dandy Vitamix. I love a healthy gravy on this penne! It absorbs nicely and having a wide variety of textures always makes a dish interesting.
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 5 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs (20g)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (5mL)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5mL)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (2.5mL)
- ½ pound ground lamb (227g)
- 1 box of Chickapea penne pasta (227g)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion (75g)
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms (75g)
- ½ cup finely chopped carrots (75g)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (30mL)
- 2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free beef broth (475mL)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (15g)
- A pinch of pepper
- 3 cups of fresh , baby spinach (450g)
- 1 cup of crumbled goat cheese (90g)
- ½ cup chopped green onions (75g)
- ½ cup chopped red onion (75g)
- Optional toppings: golden raisins , dried apricots, sliced avocado
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine, garlic, breadcrumbs, spices and lamb, mixing gently being careful not to overhandle it. Beat egg and add to mixture, mixing.
Form mixture into mini-meatballs; about a tablespoon size for each. This will make about 18-20 meatballs.
Place meatballs on parchment covered baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 25 minutes. If you made you meatballs larger, bake an additional 5 - 10 minutes.
Cook pasta according to directions and drain. Set aside.
Prepare To Serve
Add meatballs to gravy, mixing well. Gravy
In a saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms, carrots and parsley in1/4 cup broth for 5-7 minutes.
Place contents of pan in blender until smooth and creamy. Return to pan.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, pepper and ½ cup of broth and stir until smooth. Add to pan.
Bring to a boil, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes.
Add additional beef broth as it cooks, depending on desired consistency. I added ½ cup more.
Add pasta and spinach, tossing. Prepare individual serving or one large bowl. Top with goat cheese, green onions and red onions. (see additional toppings as well)