Zucchini Noodles – Zoodles – with Marinara and Meatballs!
I am a huge fan of spaghetti and meatballs but I try not to eat pasta too often and save it for special occasions. But the problem is there are so many great dishes that pair with pasta because it is a nice base to soak up whatever sauce you put on top.
Today I decided to go with tomato sauce and meatballs but you could also do a nice pesto, garlic and oil, or anything you would put on traditional pasta.
So I have had my spiralizer since January now and I have been experimenting with different ways of cooking the noodles as well as the best way to use my new gadget. I found that as I used it more the noodles did get better.
Here are a few things I noticed:
-You should try and use large zucchinis when spiralizing I find they work better (about 1 per person)
-I also found that zucchini has a lot of water in it! You can avoid some of this water and the soggy aspect of the noodles by: Making the zoodles and then letting them sit with paper towel to squeeze some of the water content out. Some recipes say to let the zucchini sit with salt on them because it draws the water out but personally I did not find this extra step necessary.
-There are also two different types of spiralizers I have tried.
1) Vegetable Spiralizer Maker – It is hand held and only comes with two different size spirals. I found this one easier to clean and a little quicker. The noodles, come out a little flatter and less round but it is super easy and very little clean up. Inexpensive. $13.00 Amazon
2) Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: This is more of a machine and involves a little more set up time but also gives you more options. I like the texture and shape of the noodles better with this machine then the hand held because it is a continuous spiral. The noodles are rounder which resembles pasta. You also get multiple blades where you can change the shape and size of the spiral, which is nice. A little more expensive. $26.00
For this recipe I used the first option and it worked rather well. Once you prepare the meatballs this recipe takes very little time at all. I also speed it up by using my favorite jarred tomato sauce – Rao’s Marinara Sauce. A home made sauce would work nicely.
What you need:
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
- a little less than half a cup of Italian bread crumbs
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- your favorite tomato sauce
- zucchini (1 per person)
What to do:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine your ground beef, parsley, milk, egg, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Mix until just combined and form meatballs.
- Bake for 12-20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Make sure they do not over cook, depends on preferred size.
- While meatballs are cooking spiralize zucchini and let sit wrapped in paper towel to draw some of the moisture out.
- Once meatballs are cooked remove from oven and heat a medium-large saute pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Take the zucchini and saute for about 2-5 minutes just until warmed through, season with salt and pepper. Move to a bowl.
- In the same pan take 1 cup of marinara sauce and heat it in the sauce pan. Take 3 or 4 meatballs depending on size and put in marinara sauce, until the sauce begins to simmer.
- Spoon the desired amount of sauce over your zoodles and place meatballs on top. Serve with fresh chopped parsley and a little bit of parmesan cheese.
Notes: If you let your zucchini sit with sauce on it for a long time before eating the sauce will become watery as the zucchini releases water. It’s best to eat it right away to avoid this.
Enjoy your low-carb zoodles and meatballs!
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