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Spaghetti with Vegan Meatballs (Night-Shade Free)

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~ raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free ~

This dish was inspired by a subscriber (C0c0) who asked me if I could create a pasta tomato sauce without tomatoes, and ketchup too!  I will be honest, at first, I thought that she was trying to pull my leg, but after I had asked a few questions, I realized that she was sensitive to nightshades.   Then it all made sense, it was a challenge, but a fun one for sure.

My mom makes amazing spaghetti.  Anytime there was a family function, any type of gathering, together, or a simple event that required a small celebration… mom was always enlisted to make spaghetti.

I will never forget my first date; his name was Peter.  My parents were pretty, ah no, VERY strict with me growing up, and dating was supposed to have been forbidden till I was 36 years old. But somehow I twisted my dad’s arm to let me, at the age of 15, to bring a boy home.  To my dad, a date at that age meant “bring-that-boy-home-so-I-can-stare-holes-through-him.  You know, the kind of date that makes everyone squirm in their chair except for dad.

Mom had been busy planning “our family date night dinner.”  I was so nervous, not for me, but for poor Peter, that I never asked mom what she was going to make.  The doorbell rang, and it was Peter,  his dad had dropped him off.  Mom dished up spaghetti good and high on everyone’s plate.  SPAGHETTI on date night!!! Oooooh no… How could she, didn’t mom know that noodle slurping, face slapping, sauce dripping spaghetti didn’t make for a good impression?

We all sat in slurping silence, mouth puckering, noodle inhaling, red lip dripping silence.  Dad was at the head of the table.  He never broke cadence of his rough-looking exterior as he chowed down on not just one or two but three helpings. Poor Peter, he didn’t dare look up.  I watched his hand tremble, fighting hard to keep the noodles wound around the fork, he had sauce all over his face. I felt bad for him.  Poor guy, sitting there was sauce all over his face, all over his shirt, hands trembling, voice cracking.

I kept my composure, proud that I made it through dinner without flinging spaghetti everywhere (which was common for me).  I sat up straight in my chair, brushed my hair back, wiggled in girly glee, giving Peter a look with fluttering eyes, as if I were a princess.  I was so perfect and composed.  After dinner, he rose from his chair… his dad was outside honking the horn.

I don’t think I had ever seen that boy move so fast as he did to get out of the house.  I went into the bathroom to let out that breath of, “Ok dad, you got a deal… age 36 isn’t so far off”.  I didn’t want to go through that again.   I looked into the mirror and leaned closer. I had red stained spaghetti sauce lips, a clump of sauce on my nose, my face was covered with tiny dots of sauce as though they were freckles.

I even had a line of red sauce across my neck as though a darn noodle tried to laso me!… aaaaagh!  The moral of this story is…  for you mom’s who make the world’s best spaghetti… Please don’t make this dish for your child’s first date night dinner with the family. Lol Not unless you want she or him to be writing about it some 30 years later, on a blog for the world to read!


Mushroom “Meat”: 2 cups
  • 1 lb (8 cups) baby portobello (crimini) mushrooms, rough chopped, stems removed
  • 4 Tbsp sunflower seeds, soaked and dehydrated
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Tomato  Sauce:  yields 1 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin puree or canned
  • 1/4 cup beet juice
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp psyllium husk powder

Zucchini noodles:

  • 1 large zucchini per person


Mushroom “Meat”:

  1. Pulse the mushrooms in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.  It should break down to the size that resembles ground beef.
  2. In a spice grinder combine the sunflower seeds, onion powder, thyme, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper.  Grind long enough for the sunflower seeds to break down to a powder.
  3. Toss the mushrooms and seasoning together and spread out on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
  4. Dry at 115 degrees (F) for about 30 mins.  Remove and stir, then slide back in for another 30 minutes.  The mushrooms will darken, this is normal.
  5. Mix the mushroom meat with the tomato sauce.
  6. To make the meatballs, take 1 cup of the meat sauce and make meatballs with a tablespoon measuring spoon.  Roll into a ball and place on the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator and dry for 2-4 hours.
    • If the meatballs are too wet, add 1-2 Tbsp ground flax seeds. Mix and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Tomato Sauce:

  1. To make raw pumpkin puree, see the link above in the ingredient list.  If you are not able to locate fresh sugar pumpkins and if you are ok with it, you can use canned.  Be sure to get organic, BPA-free pumpkin puree without any other added ingredients.
  2. In a blender combine the pumpkin puree, beet juice, coconut crystals, apple cider vinegar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, minced onion, black pepper, and psyllium husk powder.  Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into an airtight container and store in the fridge for about 7 days.

35 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Vegan Meatballs (Night-Shade Free)

  1. Karen MacMillan says:

    Thanks for posting and sharing once again! I have been on a juice cleanse/feast for the past two weeks…this is on my to do list for next week…I have been craving something just like this!

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Karen. Good luck on your juice cleanse! Remember to ease back into food. :) And once you try this, let me know what you think. Have a wonderful weekend. amie sue

  2. sarah says:

    hi ami! a question about zucchini noodles: whan i make a sauce with any salt whatsoever in it, the zucchini noodles release ALOT of water rather quickly. even if i just serve the sauce on top, which my husband doesnt care for much. the liquid changes the flavor and isn’t quite right. i just wondered if you had a trick to handle this. thankyou so much. i look forward to your posts and nouveau raw is hands down my absolute favorite food site.

  3. sarah says:

    hi ami sue! i should have gone to read your post on zucchini noodles first before that last post! i see you recommend sprinkling with salt and letting the noodles release their water and then rinsing the salt off. do you pat them dry or just let them drain or dehydrate them afterwards before serving with your sauce? i now it seems nitpicky of me, but i would love to get the zucchini pasta thing down, and so far i have not thrilled my family with zucchini pasta. thankyou ami sue.

    • amie-sue says:

      First of all Sarah, thank you for the kind words from your last post. After salting the zucchini noodles, and rinsing them… yes please pat them dry as much as you can. This will help. When making raw noodles, it is much like in the cooked world. When we boil noodles, everyone removed them from the water at their desired texture. Some like them super soft and others like them more on the firm side. This variance can be achieved in the raw world too. The more salt you use and the longer you “soak” them in the salt, the softer they get. If you like them firmer, then don’t let them soak as long. You can also put them in the dehydrator to wilt them quicker and to warm the noodles. When you rinse them, you can do so in hot water, warming them up too. It will just take a little experimenting on your end to reach the stage that your husband enjoys. :) Have fun with the process Sarah and have a great day. amie sue

  4. Karalee says:

    Looks fabulous. I do not see in the ingredients list for the “meat”, rosemary, cumin, or paprika, though you mention to put those in with the sunflower seeds to grind. Am I overlooking it? Thanks!

  5. Jan Ogden says:

    You have done it again Amie Sue.. Was anxiously waiting for this!! Now to try this….thank you again for sharing your talent, your heart and this luscious and healthy way of eating! Hugs, jan

    • amie-sue says:

      Well, let me know if I “have done it again” after you try it. hehe I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for your sweet words. Blessings, amie sue

  6. Amyah says:

    OHHHHH! Will I try this one!

    Really looking forward to try the pumpkin stuff. I know how wonderful pumpkin is for health but was never really happy to eat some… at least the way my mom was serving it… hyper cooked with… lots of sugar (white please). So, I developped kind of a traumatic repulsion for the poor thing but I am willing to give it a try in this spag sauce and the ketchup.

    Thank you soooo much!
    Have a wonderful day

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Amyah,

      Well, perhaps these recipes will bring a new love for eating pumpkin. :) Thank you for being willing to try. Have a happy day, amie sue

  7. cara says:

    That’s AMAZING! I’m nightshade sensitive and love raw spaghetti with sauce so I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

  8. Coco says:

    Amie-Sue, I am beyond ecstatic!! I am really looking forward to creating this entire plate. :)

    Thank you so very very much!

  9. RenB says:

    What a wonderful recipe for this weekend. My meals needed this boost! As usual, your magnificent photos make my mouth water. You can almost taste it!

    I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • amie-sue says:

      Perfect timing then RenB! Please let me know what you think of it. Have a great weekend with a full tummy of spaghetti. :) amie sue

  10. Laurel says:

    You read my mind! Ever since I read your post yesterday I’ve been wanting to try it as spaghetti sauce! My husband drives me insane with his weekly pot and bottled sauce. All I have to say is there had better be organic beets at the grocery this weekend! Thank you lovely lady.

  11. cindy says:

    where can you purchase the noodle maker ?

  12. cindy says:

    I just order the noodle maker via Amazon

  13. Angela says:

    I am unable to get fresh pumpkins, and really didn’t want to use canned pumpkin… So decided to substitute the pumpkin with sweet potato instead! It was absolutely delicious! And since I was juicing beets for the recipe, I thought it might be easier to juice the sweet potato as well for the puree. I then blended the sweet potato juice and pulp to make the puree pretty quickly. Incredible recipe, Amie Sue! The meatballs alone were astonishing! Excited to make this again and again.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Angela, ooooh that sounds wonderful. Sweet potatoes are a great substitute for pumpkin. thank you for sharing that, it will help other readers who might be in the same situation. :) I am thrilled that you enjoyed it! amie sue

    • angela hill says:

      What a great idea, why didn’t I think of that! I have a problem finding the right pumpkin to. The sweet potato is an excellent choice for a substitution. Pasta with meatballs has been a favorite of mine since I can remember. Can’t wait to try this. I’m making it today.

      • amie-sue says:

        Good morning Angela…. keep me posted on what you think. I hope that you enjoy it. :) Have a blessed day, amie sue

  14. Gwendolyn S says:

    How do you make your beet juice? Do you use the liquid left over after steaming beets, or do you use a juicer?

  15. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie Sue,

    Your creativity and giftedness continue to show itself in your inspiring food creations.

    Do you think this recipe could be used as is or adapted as a pizza sauce for raw pizza?

    I would love to serve my family pizza again with an option of a “tomato like” sauce.

    Please let me know your thoughts. As always,thank you for your generosity.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Rhondy,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I am on vacation. :) The answer to your question… I don’t see why not, just dress it up with some Italian seasonings. Sounds good :) I would make the recipe as is. Taste it, then take a little out and add a little seasoning to test it. If you don’t care for it as a pizza sauce, at least you have the rest of it to enjoy as a spaghetti sauce.

      Have a wonderful day, amie sue

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