Tomato & Basil Meatballs with Cauliflower Puree

August 13 2015

I think I go through phases where I get a little obsessed with a certain ingredient and then want to use it in everything! I’m in a 'buffalo mozzarella phase’ at the moment. I’ve been using it quite a lot over the past few months, including in today’s recipe, my Tomato and Basil Meatballs with Cauliflower Puree.

I developed this recipe only a few weeks ago now and it’s already become a new family favourite.

I like to serve this dish with a side of steamed green beans, mainly because I love them (and we can always do with a few more greens in our lives right?!). For all my vegetarian and vegan friends, simply replace the meat with chickpeas/lentils and voila, ‘vegeballs’. ☺ For my paleo friends, just leave out the buffalo mozzarella and parmesan and you’re set!

Have a wonderful week friends and enjoy the recipe!

Talk soon.




1 hr


  • 1kg grass fed beef mince (for vegetarian balls - cooked chickpeas/lentils)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch basil, finely chopped
  • Large pinch sea salt 

Tomato & Basil Sauce

  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs smokey paprika
  • Pinch of dried chili flakes
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 2 punnets fresh cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ cup tomato paste/tomato concentrate
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tbs organic vegetable broth powder or stock
  • 2 large sprigs rosemary
  • ½ bunch basil
  • 125g buffalo mozzarella (or bocconcini)
  • ½ cup grana padano parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped 


  • 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup grana padano parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Pinch sea salt 



  1. Place the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl, mix well and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  3. Place the cherry tomatoes into a large, deep baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil, then place them into the oven while you prepare the rest of the sauce.
  4. In a large pan, sauté the red onion, garlic, chili flakes and smokey paprika in a little olive oil over medium heat, until soft and slightly caramelised.
  5. Now add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, hot water, broth powder and rosemary sprigs. Simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat.
  6. Remove the baking dish containing the cherry tomatoes from the oven and pour in the crushed tomato mixture, then set aside.
  7. Rinse out the large pan, place back onto the heat and add a good glug of olive oil.
  8. Scoop the meatball (or veg) mixture into large table spoon sized balls.
  9. Add the balls to the hot pan.
  10. Brown the balls on both sides (don’t worry about them being cooked through as they will finish cooking in the oven).
  11. Place the browned balls into the dish with the tomato sauce.
  12. Sprinkle with ½ cup parmesan, ½ of the torn basil leaves and the mozzarella.
  13. Place the dish into the oven for about 40 minutes.
  14. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley. 
  15. Serve the balls over the cauliflower puree.

Cauliflower Puree

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small chunks and steam for about 30 minutes or until very soft.
  2. Place the steamed cauliflower into a food processor with the almond milk, parmesan and a generous pinch of sea salt.
  3. Blend until very smooth (this will take a couple of minutes).

Dietary Options

  • For a vegetarian option, substitute the grass fed beef mince for chickpeas or lentils.
  • For a vegan option, substitute the grass fed beef mince for chickpeas or lentils and leave out the buffalo mozzarella and parmesan. Replace with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  • For a paleo option, leave out the buffalo mozzarella and parmesan.

Free Resources

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I’m Ashley, welcome to Gather & Feast. A site full of delicious food, simple wholesome recipes & the occasional sweet treat. x  

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