Italian Neatballs in Red Sauce

Nov, 29, 2012

By Fredrica Syren

Finally fall came to San Diego, and this week has been rainy and cold. Rainy days make me want to sit in the kitchen and smell the aroma of hearty foods such as these Italian neatballs with a rich tomato sauce. I promise you, there was a lot of slurping around the table when I served it.

Walnuts taste great and should be part of our diets regularly. For us living here in the U.S and want to focus on eating for sustainability, walnuts are a great food because 38% of all walnuts are grown in the U.S. Of that 38%, the vast majority (almost 90%) come from California. Walnuts is consider a “super food” because they are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids. These neatballs are a great way to enjoy the benefits of eating walnuts.



  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbs. canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 1 tbs. Bragg’s liquid amino or light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbs. Vital wheat gluten
  • Black pepper to taste

Place walnuts in a food processor and mix until it’s a fine meal. Heat oil on medium heat in a skillet. Saute garlic and onion for a few minutes until glossy, not brown. Add shiitake mushrooms and saute for another minute or so. Add mix to ground walnuts and stir for 10 seconds. Add cheese, Bragg’s or soy sauce, Italian seasoning, rolled oats and gluten. Mix for 30 seconds or until you have a sticky ball of dough. Preheat oven to F400. With wet hands, create dough balls to desired size. Place in a greased baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Now make the sauce.

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbs. canola oil
  • 1/2 tbs. Italian spice
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbs. ketchup
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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