Meatballs and Zucchinighetti

My partner doesn't cook me dinner very regularly, but when I showed him a recipe for zucchini spaghetti and meatballs I couldn't hold him back.

You can make zucchini spaghetti (or zucchinighetti) using a spirooli or a mandolin on the thinest setting or a vegetable peeler. Basically you are turning your regular vegetables like zucchini, beetroot, potatoes etc into noodles. I like to use them in salads or as a replacement for regular spaghetti.

Vegetable noodles would be a great trick to get your kids to eat more vegies! It is also makes your meals wheat free and paleo friendly.

Feel free to replace the meatballs with some lentil balls or falafel if you don't want to eat any meat. Alternatively you could just add a mixture of beans like cannellini and butter beans to the sauce to make it more like a bolognaise.

This recipe has some red chilli in it, but feel free to leave it out if you can't tolerate it. This pasta sauce can also be used on pizza bases etc so make a double batch if you can.

What you need to serve four lucky people:

  • 400g beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, grated (I used my processor)
  • 1/2 bundle of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, finely chopped, or 1/2 bulb fresh fennel
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper
Pasta Sauce
  • 400 g can of tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (I used tamari)
  • 2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bundle fresh basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 zucchinis
  • Herbs to serve such as parsley or basil
Optional extra: freshly grated or shaved parmesan cheese

How to make it:

To make the sauce, in a pot add some olive oil, onions, garlic and chilli and simmer over low-medium heat until the onions are soft - around 5 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer for as long as possible while making the rest of the meal, stirring occasionally.

To make the meatballs combine all ingredients and mix well. Let the mixture set in the fridge for half an hour.

Using your spirooli or other device, make the zucchinighetti. Don't grate the middle of the zucchini where the seeds are because it is too soft to make noodles. Arrange one zucchini turned into noodles onto each plate.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Shape one tablespoon of meatball mixture into a ball by rolling it in your hands and placing it onto the pan, repeat with the rest of the meatballs. Cook them on each side for around 5 minutes or until they have browned and are cooked through.

Once the meatballs are almost ready blend the tomato mixture using a hand held blender and add extra water if it is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top the zucchini spaghetti with hot tomato sauce, meatballs, olive oil, your choice fresh herbs and some parmesan cheese.

Serve and enjoy.

*Original recipe from A Tasty Love Story  


Jennifer said...

I just finished drooling over your Spicy Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos and now this! Everything on your site looks so incredible. I love it.

Tali's Tomatoes said...

Thank you so much Jennifer, it's so great to get good feedback, makes it all worthwhile :-)

afracooking said...

Really enjoyed browsing through your blog - great combination of tasty and healty food. I am certainly going to drop by again!

Sylvia said...

I am just writing this to say thanks for this awesome recipes. My husband and kids enjoyed too much. Thank you so much for making my small family happy.

Christmas Catering Brent said...

I love to try this at home! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try this on my own!