Color me impressed! I was skeptical that these could be as good as the real deal, but I stand corrected. If the mushrooms are chopped finely in the food processor, even the texture is darned close. I suggest processing the mushrooms rather than trying to chop finely enough by hand, which is tedious work. I processed a half pound at a time, and in under 10 seconds of pulsing, they were nice and fine. After making according to the recipe exactly the first time, I made only one small change going forward. Since the object is to try to closely simulate a real meatball in flavor as well as texture, I started with the onion. Instead of adding it to the browned mushrooms, I began by carmelizing the onion in the olive oil. Then I proceeded with the recipe as written. This lends one more layer of meaty flavor and gives a nuanced complexity. I'll definitely make spaghetti and these puppies on Lenten Fridays, as well as "meatball" subs. If they come apart when added to the sauce, it's because the mushrooms were not cooked long enough before adding the rest of the ingredients. Cook until dry. Allowing a minimum of one hour for them to simmer in the sauce is necessary for the taste to meld and develop appropriately. The only way anyone would know they're a vegetarian alternative is the appearance, as real meatballs do not tend to be that dark on the inside. One other note, this recipe always yields 24 for me, (using a 2 Tb scoop) not 16, a fact that doesn't bother us at all!
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Color me impressed! I was skeptical that these could be as good as the real deal, but I stand...