Lentil Balls with Tagliatelle, Greens and Lemon Pesto

Serves: 5

Difficulty of recipe preparation: Intermediate

Preparation time: 40mins

Cooking time: 25mins


  • 400g can brown lentils, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat ricotta
  • 2 tblsps grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tblsps parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch basil (approx. 2 cups)
  • 4 tblsps toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tblsps grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tblsps extra and more to drizzle
  • 2 tblsps lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tblsps water
  • 375g packet tagliatelle
  • 1 leek, white part finely sliced
  • 3 cups silver beet, finely sliced
  • 1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 medium eggplant, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup green beans, halved crossways
  • 1 cup broccoli florets


  1. In a food processor, process lentils and parsley until mostly smooth but some texture still remains. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add egg, ricotta, 2 tblsps parmesan, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, mixed herbs and breadcrumbs. Stir well and let mix sit for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make lemon pesto sauce: in the same food processor (which has been rinsed), process basil, pine nuts, 2 tblsps Parmesan, 1 tsp minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and water until smooth. Add more water to thin if desired. Set aside.
  4. Roll tablespoons of lentil mixture into balls and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and bake at 200 degrees Celsius fan forced for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet directions and stirfry vegetables in a large frypan over medium heat in 1 tblsps extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Once pasta is cooked, drain and toss through vegetables along with lemon pesto sauce.
  7. Divide vegetable pasta among 5 bowls and top with coked lentil balls. Top with extra grated Parmesan, if desired.

Additional information/tips

Lentil balls and lemon pesto sauce can both be frozen once cooked.

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