Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. In a pan melt the butter or oil before adding the sliced onion. Fry over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until the onions have softened but to coloured.
Add the garlic puree and mixed herbs and fry for a further minute. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Place the chickpeas, lentils, curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, carrot, breadcrumbs and egg in a food processor and add the onions. Blitz just until the mixture starts to come together then divide the mixture into 24 equal portions.
Dice the cheese into 24 1cm cubes. Take a portion of the chickpea mixture and flatten in the palm of your hand (use a little flour to stop it from sticking). Place a cheese cube in the centre, bring up the sides of the mixture to enclose and roll into a ball. Place on a lined baking tray and repeat with the remaining 23 portions.
Place the balls in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until golden whilst you make the sauce.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the carrot and onion. Fry gently for 4 – 5 minutes until they have started to soften. Sprinkle in the oregano and garlic and fry for a further minute.
Add the sun dried tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup before pouring in the chopped tomatoes and 1 can of water.
Bring to the boil, season with a little salt and pepper and allow to gently simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is thick. Place the cooked balls in the pan and coat with the sauce whilst you cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Drain the pasta and place in serving bowls. Top with the ‘meat-less balls’ and a generous helping of sauce. Sprinkle with extra cheddar if desired.