This great Chef John’s Meatless Meatballs is delicious on Meatless Monday or any day. It is also a fantastic recipe to make on meal-prep Sundays (the Sunday afternoon when you prep meals for the coming week) because the meatballs become more savory if prepared the day before. Cover, refrigerate overnight, and voila, they are ready for cooking the next day. The taste and texture of the mushrooms combined with garlic, cheese, and parsley will top any meatballs you have ever had.
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 lb. fresh white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 pinch, and 1 tsp. pink salt
1 Tbs. Butter
½ C. finely chopped onion
4 cloves, garlic, minced
½ C. quick-cooking oats
1 oz. very finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
½ C. Breadcrumbs
¼ C. Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped, packed
2 Eggs, divided
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch dried oregano
3 C. Pasta Sauce
1 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf Italian Parsley
1 Tbs. very finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook and stir until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Stir butter into mushrooms, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir mushrooms until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Stir onion into mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir garlic into mushroom mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.
Mix oats into mushroom mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently stir 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the mixture. Add breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1 egg, season with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix with a fork until crumbly. Stir in the remaining 1 egg. The mixture should hold together when pressed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. For best flavor and texture, refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Form mixture into small meatballs using a 2-tablespoon scoop. Roll meatballs lightly between your hands until smooth, if desired; arrange meatballs on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until meatballs are lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Bring pasta sauce to a boil in a large saucepan; reduce heat to low. Gently stir meatballs into sauce until coated. Simmer meatballs in the sauce until cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with 1 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and 1 tablespoon parsley.