Spaghetti and Neat Balls


Erin Patton and her boyfriend, Mike Rabourn, turned their Northampton, Mass., abode into a test-kitchen while perfecting the “Neat Ball” for this recipe. An avid home cook, Erin enjoys creating meatless meals that appeal to all her guests. This great recipe received an honorable mention in VT's 2008 Reader Recipe Contest.


  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for frying
  • ½ cup vital wheat gluten
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbs. San-J Reduced Sodium Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Simply Organic Thyme
  • ½ tsp. Simply Organic Basil
  • ½ tsp. Simply Organic Oregano
  • ¼ tsp. Simply Organic Sage
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. Eden Organic Kamut Spirals
  • 1 small jar pasta sauce, such as Amy’s Light in Sodium Organic Tomato Basil


1. Mash chickpeas and 2 Tbs. olive oil in large bowl, leaving some lumps. Stir in vital wheat gluten, breadcrumbs, tamari, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, and 1/4 cup water. Knead by hand 3 to 4 minutes, or until vital wheat gluten begins to form strands and all ingredients are well incorporated. Shape to Ping-Pong ball size.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions; warm pasta sauce in saucepan.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté Neat Balls 7 minutes, or until browned. Drain on paper-towel-lined plate; serve over pasta and sauce.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 6
  • Calories: 493
  • Carbohydrate Content: 66 g
  • Fat Content: 15 g
  • Fiber Content: 11 g
  • Protein Content: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 669 mg
  • Sugar Content: 11 g