I’ve been trying to behave myself lately (read: I have been trying to eat less than my weight in pasta every day). But I LOVE pasta. Like, with a fervor that knows no bounds. There’s something so comforting and delicious about a big bowl of pasta and meat sauce. BUT, like I said, behaving. So here is my alternative offering: zoodles (zucchini noodles) and meat sauce that is packed with veggies. Click on through to follow me on this delicious adventure.
Gather your ingredients as above – 1 lb of lean ground meat (I used beef), a stalk of celery, one carrot, an onion, a clove of garlic, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce (hey, homemade sauce, how you doin’?!).
I really focused on the meat sauce here, because this is the part that actually takes some work. Gourmet Girl Cooks has a fantastic post on how to make the perfect zoodle. On this occasion, I used my mandoline to make my zoodles. They can be served raw or cooked – it just depends on what texture you’re looking for!
Start by cooking your ground meat. I used a pot and a little olive oil at medium heat to brown and then cook my ground beef all the way through – ground meats should be cooked to a minimum of 71°C (160°F). While it’s cooking, cube, mince, shred, or otherwise break down your carrot, onion, garlic, and celery. While I minced/diced this time, I think I might try food processing it next time to see how it changes the texture of things. Once the meat is cooked, drain and set aside.
Sautee your vegetables in the pot over medium-low heat – I used a little of the leftover ground beef fat (there was barely any there, so that tells you about how much fat you actually need to do this). I also diced the last bit of my zucchini and threw it into the pot – waste not, want not, nomsayin?
When the veggies are done, add the ground meat back in, along with 1/2 of the can of diced tomatoes. Look how PRETTY it is.
Blend the other half of the can of tomatoes until smooth and add it to the pot. At the same time, add 2 cups of tomato sauce to the pot – you can add more if you like, it just depends on how saucy you want things to be! Stir until combined, and simmer until you reach your desired thickness and vegetable texture.
Serve hot and eat until you can’t anymore. This is so filling and delicious that you won’t be able to help yourself.
Zoodles and Meat Sauce
Time: 30-45 mins
- Zoodles (I made 3 zucchinis worth)
- 1 lb lean ground meat
- 1 large carrot
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 medium onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 796 ml can of diced tomatoes
- 2-3 cups of tomato sauce
- Prepare zoodles as per the link above.
- Cook ground meat in a pot or pan at medium heat until it reaches a minimum of 71°C (160°F). Drain and set aside.
- Cut the onion, carrot, and celery to your desired size. Mince the clove of garlic.
- Sautee the vegetables until they begin to soften in the pot.
- Add the ground meat and 1/2 of the can of diced tomatoes into the pot. Stir until combined.
- Blend the other half of the canned tomatoes and add to the pot with 2-3 cups of tomato sauce. Stir until combined.
- Simmer sauce until desired thickness is reached. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve hot over zoodles and enjoy!
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