Who likes Spaghetti and Meatballs?! I do! I do! But I can’t eat pasta! That’s OK. Zucchini noodles to the rescue! Here is my recipe for a delicious tomato sauce and paleo meatballs.
For Meat Balls
- 1 lbs ground beef (grass-fed if you can get it)
- 1 lbs ground pork (pastured or humanely raised if possible)
- 2 eggs (pastured if possible)
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2 tsp dried oregano (feel free to use fresh if you have it)
- 1 tsp dried basil (feel free to use fresh if you have it)
- 2 tsp granulated garlic (feel free to use fresh is you have it, but saute it lightly in some fat first)
- about 10 turns of a fresh black pepper grinder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Optional 1/4 grated Romano cheese (I don’t do dairy so I left it out)
- 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 small sweet onion minced or pureed
- 5 cloves of fresh garlic minced or pressed
- 2 tbs dried basil (or fresh if you have it.)
- 1 tbs dried oregano (or fresh if you have it.)
- 15 turns of a black pepper mill
- 1/2 tbs sea salt
- about 3 large zucchini
- a few dashes of olive oil
First let’s start with the meat balls;
Literally just dump all the ingredients in a big bowl. USING YOUR HANDS, get in there and squish and squoosh all these yummy flavors together until completely incorporated. Grab a palmful of the meatball mixture, about this much.
Using two hands roll the palmful into a ball and put aside. This mixture made 21 palmful size meatballs.
Once all your meat balls are done, take out a big dutch oven and LIGHTLY brown the meat balls. Do not cook them through! Just brown them. You will need to work in batches. **
Remove all the meatballs from the pot once they are browned. You can drain off some of the fat if you want to or you can leave it all in there for flavor, but retain some of it to cook your onions.
Add the minced onion (or pureed, my kids don’t like chunky onions in the sauce so I puree it in my Magic Bullet) until it begins to turn translucent. Next add the garlic. Do not brown, you just don’t want it to taste raw. Cook it gently and briefly then add the two cans of crushed tomatoes plus 3/4 of one of those tomato cans of water. Stir well.
Add the basil, oregano, pepper and salt. Stir very well. Let it get warm then add your browned meatballs to the sauce. Stir gently. Let the sauce come to a simmer, reduce heat to low and let cook for another 30 minutes until the meat balls are cooked through.
** You can opt to skip the browning step if you have enough time to let the meatballs completely cook in the sauce. I will do that when I know I have a couple of hours to let the meat cook through entirely. You need to be careful about stirring so you don’t accidentally break up the meatballs before they begin to cook together. Sometimes this can lead to more tender meatballs.
The longer you let the sauce cook the more flavorful it will taste, but you run the risk or over cooking your meatballs. Taste the sauce, see if it needs more salt or pepper. Once the meatballs are cooked through you can dig in.
While the sauce is cooking, go ahead and make your noodles. Here is Mia showing you how to use the spiral slicer to make zucchini noodles.
If you do not have a spiral slicer use either a veggie peeler and use some real muscle to get some thicker zucchini ribbons. Or you can try using the julienne mode on a mandolin. If you want a spiral slicer here is an Amazon link to the one I have. It is about $35.
You will get a big bowl of Zucchini noodles that look like this with the spiral slicer.
Right before you are ready to serve, add the noodles to a large saute pan, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan then add the zucchini. Cook on medium heat until just warmed through. Do not over cook, or they will get mushy. I like mine just warmed through and still crunchy.
I served this with a small green salad. I should have used a separate bowl for the salad because some of my yummy tomato sauce ran into my yummy salad. But it was all still delicious!