Who doesn’t absolutely love the comfort of pasta and sauce? To me, it is one of the ultimate comfort foods. However, if you are like me and no longer eat grains, this dish becomes off limits for…ev…er (hopefully you instinctively knew to pronounce that like Squints from Sandlot to add dramatic effect).

You may have tried replacing the spaghetti noodles with spaghetti squash and found it to be good, but nothing like the pasta you  remembered. Well, my friends, zoodles will change your life! Get yourself a $10 julienne peeler and some zucchini and you are back in Italian business. They absorb the flavor of the sauce and … wait for it … they TWIRL! I have waited a solid year to twirl ‘pasta’! Have no fear, fellow Primal eaters, you can sit down to a bowl full of zoodles and meatballs with no guilt (or stomach disruption) and enjoy!

Cheater disclaimer: I have found the Rao’s Marinara Sauce is absolutely wonderful. It is made with no sugar –  which I didn’t realize, but many/most store bought sauces are made with sugar! It is a little pricey, but I think it is worth every penny! One day I will surprise my Italian husband with a Sunday sauce from scratch, but today is not that day.

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Zoodles

  • 2 zucchini per person (or in my case of a ravenous husband, three per person if I have a shot of having leftovers!)
  1. Wash the zucchini.
  2. Cut the bottoms off of the zucchini. Leave the top stem as this will provide you something to hold on to while peeling.
  3. Using a knife, remove a small slice of the zucchini so that it lies flat on your cutting surface.
  4. Using the julienne peeler, pull down the zucchini until you have peeled all that is available. I found, that once the zucchini has only a small amount remaining, it get difficult to continue to peel. However, due to the thinness of the remaining portion, you can easily slice into small noodles using a knife.
  5. Place all zoodles into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Start checking around 2 minutes as they will get soggy quickly and like spaghetti, zoodles are better al dente. The more zoodles you have, the longer this will take. I like to undercook the zoodles if I am putting hot sauce over them immediately since they will continue to cook and absorb some of the hot liquid. This allows the leftovers to not be too over done as well.

Meatballs

I had a really hard time finding a recipe for meatballs without using eggs. If you can tolerate eggs (I am jealous), there are plenty of recipes out there, but these were flavorful and really delicious!

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced finely
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. In a skillet, saute onion and mushrooms until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic and continue to saute until the garlic becomes fragrant and golden brown. Add salt and pepper while it is cooking.
  3. In a large bowl, combine mushroom/onion mixture with the pork, ground beef and spices. Mix until combined.
  4. Create 1 inch meatballs (I used a 1 T cookie scooper and then rounded the meatballs with my hands) and place them on the baking sheet. I was able to make around 40+ meatballs.
  5. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Then, turn the meatballs and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. In the same skillet used for onions and mushrooms, heat up your preferred cheater sauce. Add the meatballs to the warm sauce to absorb some wonderful deliciousness.
  7. Server the meatballs and sauce over a hearty bowlful of zoodles!
  8. Enjoy!!

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