Recently I got from Amazon a Spiralizer (less than 20 usd) and I’ve been very excited trying new ways to incorporate more veggies to my diet. Of course one of the first veggies I spiralized was Zucchini. First I tried to create a raw zucchini noodles recipe and actually it wasn’t that bad, but honesty, raw vegan food doesn’t drive me crazy. I don’t have anything against it but I’m sure there are lots of other ways to be healthy without becoming strictly vegetarian or raw food lover, right? So I came up with this delicious idea.
The natural sweetness of zucchini goes perfectly with the tomato acidity, so I thought why not trying a Marinara or Bolognese sauce on top of it. So I made my research for the best Marinara sauce and I found it in one of my favorite cookbooks nowadays: The Kitchy Kitchen by Claire Thomas. This recipe is so quick, tasty and ideal for zucchini noodles.
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp chopped carrot
2 Tbsp chopped celery
1/4 tbsp dried oregano
One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes (400grs)
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 tbsp sugar
Sauté onion, carrot, celery and oregano, until the onion is translucent. Then add garlic and tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the whole tomatoes while the sauce simmers. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is reduced. Transfer to a blender until smooth. Season with sugar and salt to taste. Reserve.
If you want a simple meatless recipe, you can stop here and enjoy this Marinara Zucchini pasta as it is, but for me, it needed something else. My first thought was Meatballs, but red meat seemed to be a very strong flavor for this light recipe and I didn’t want to use chicken, so I went for turkey.
And really I can' think a better way to incorporate any other animal protein than this!
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup of thinly chopped bacon
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 minced garlic cloved
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 Tbsp finely chopped sage
1 tbsp lemon zest
Olive oil for frying
In a bowl mix onion, turkey, bacon, garlic, sage, egg, bread crumbs and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Form mixutre into medium meatballs.
Heat one thin olive oil layer in a skillet and cook the meatballs until nice golden brown. It takes about 10 minutes. Reserve for later.
Got to say that I also tried to eat raw zucchini noodles, but zucchini is so watery and didn’t went well with marinara and meatballs, so I boiled them…not such a good idea, it made them even more watery than they were.
So I finally nailed it by tossing them for 2 minutes in olive oil. It came out less watery and still got that semi-raw zucchini crunchiness. It is important not to overcook them or you’ll end up with extra soft and shape-less zucchini noodles (not good!).
Finally garnish with fresh basil and parmesano cheese!
References: The Kitchy Kitchen cookbook, page 70 "Simple Marinara Sauce"