How are you holding up during the great quarantine of 2020? I’m fortunate enough to be working from home and dabbling in all of my favorite things in between emails and calls. I’ve done A LOT of cooking and wanted to share this little diddy so you can elevate your quarantine meals! Bonus points because this yields lots of leftovers. (Makes about 20 balls!)

What you need:
1 cup red lentils
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2TBS EVOO (for sautéing)
3TBS tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1 egg

Boil red lentils in 2 cups of water until soft. Turn off heat and let cool with lid on. This will help them get mushy – you’ll want them as soft as possible.

In a separate pot, sauté garlic and onion in EVOO, once soft, add the butternut squash. Cook until tender. Turn off heat and let cool.

Transfer lentils into the cooked veggies. Add tomato paste, bread crumbs, parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Crack in egg and mix with your hands.

Roll into large golf-ball sized balls. Spray olive oil on sheet pan, place meatballs down. Brush tops with olive oil.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Serve over pasta or zoodles with marinara sauce.

Bonus: Quick, easy, and full of flavor marinara sauce

What you’ll need:
28oz can of high quality crushed tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
2 TBSP minced yellow onion
Bunch of fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup red wine (Cab or Merlot)
Salt to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion in about 2TBSP EVOO. Once softened and aromatic, add the tomatoes, basil, and red wine. Salt to taste. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.