Marinara Sauce With Black Bean Meatballs and Linguine

Serves: 4
Takes: 40 mins

Meatball replacement that actually tastes great, say no more. These black bean balls are delicious and healthy.

When To Eat

This dish can be enjoyed all year round. If you are cooking it in the summer try making the chopped tomatoes from fresh tomatoes. This will add a little bit of time to the recipe, but will be worth it.


Each of our recipes comes with carbon emissions numbers for the base ingredients. If you’re unsure why this is the case, checkout out the about page to find out more.

Name Amount KG CO2e
Linguine 300 g 0.489
Dried Oregano 2 Teaspoon 0.008
Garlic 2 Clove 0.012
Onion 1 Onion 0.034
Olive Oil 2 Tablespoon 0.141
Balsamic Vinegar 2 Tablespoon 0.063
Sugar 2 Teaspoon 0.002
Basil 20 g 0.016
Dried Oregano 2 Teaspoon 0.016
Chopped Tomatoes 560 g 0.416
Tomato Paste 2 Tablespoon 0.187

Black Bean Balls

Name Amount KG CO2e
Cooked Black Beans 250 g 0.108
Oats 120 g 0.046
Fennel Seeds 2 Teaspoon 0.016
Onion 2 Onion 0.034
Garlic 2 Clove 0.012
Nutritional Yeast 2 Tablespoon 0.042

This meal is around 86% less polluting than the average UK meal.

  • Eating this recipe will save around 2.53 kg CO2e per person.
  • That's equivalent to the emissions produced driving 20km in a modern car.


  • First prepare the marinara sauce. Finely chop the garlic and onion. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, sugar, tomato paste and dried oregano. Fry for a further minute or two. Tip in the chopped tomatoes. Loosely chop the basil and add to pan. Stir the contents well. Cover and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  • Place the all the ingredients for the black bean balls into a blender, along with some seasoning, and whiz until an even consistency. Using your hands, shape the black bean mixture into 12 evenly sized balls. Place them onto a oven tray and cover with the remaining olive oil. place them in a 200˚c oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the outside is golden.
  • When the beans have about 10 minutes left. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 10 - 12 minutes until aldente. Drain and then serve in individual pasta bowls. Pour over the marinara sauce and top each with some black bean balls and any leftover basil.
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