Vegetarian Meatballs with California Prunes & Chickpeas

Makes: 4Prep Time: 10-15 minutesCook Time: 30 minutes


  • For the meatballs:
  • 6 California Prunes
  • 400g Boiled chickpeas
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Dry sandwich
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • Breadcrumbs to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
  • For the parmesan sauce:
  • 250ml Milk
  • 100g Parmesan cheese
  • 25g Butter
  • 25g Flour
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • For the onions:
  • 2 Onions
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste
  • White wine vinegar to taste
  • Salt and pepper to Taste


For the meatballs:
1. Soak the bread to soften it. Drain the chickpeas and blend them until they are creamy. Cut the California Prunes into chunks.
2. Add the chickpeas, the well-squeezed bread, the egg, salt and garlic in a blender and blend everything until smooth. Knead and if the dough is too soft, add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Then add the California Prunes and mix.
3. Form the meatballs with the help of a spoon. Then pass them in the breadcrumbs and arrange them in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Top with a drizzle of oil on the surface and cook at 180°C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the parmesan cream:
4. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan.
5. Add the flour and mix until the mixture takes on a nice nutty colour..
6. Pour in the previously heated milk a little at a time, stirring constantly.
7. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has reached a thick and creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
8. Turn off the heat and gradually add the Parmesan, stirring constantly until you have a perfectly smooth sauce.

For the baked onions:
9. Cut the onions into wedges and arrange them in a baking dish.
10. Season with salt, pepper, a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of vinegar and cook in a hot oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes. To optimize, you can bake them 10 minutes before the meatballs in order to have everything ready at the same time.


Teresa Balzano