Red Lentil Penne with Chickpea “Meatballs” and Spicy Tomato Sauce

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These meatless “meatballs” are the perfect choice for a plant-based main dish.


Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the first 6 ingredients, starting with garlic, and pulse until smooth.

Step 3

Remove from the processor and roll into quarter sized balls.

Step 4

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and sear on all sides.

Step 5

Remove the meatballs from the skillet and add remaining olive oil, onion and chili flakes, then sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 7

Cook the pasta according to the directions, drain, and combine with the sauce and meatballs.

Step 8

Garnish with the cheese and basil before serving.


  • 1 box Barilla® Red Lentil Penne
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ cup panko
  • 3 cups San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • ½ cup onion, julienne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 10 basil leaves, julienne
Chef Recommended Cuts

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.