Zucchetti Meatballs

This recipe was one that I first shared as part of my feature in YUM. Gluten Free Magazine for their Italian issue a few months back....and is also a regular on my weekly menu's at home. It's definitely a crowd pleaser and is a great way to convert those that love their pasta.  Depending on how active the day has been, who I have to feed, and what other grains I have had that day I will either enjoy it with just zucchini pasta, or do a mix of wholegrain pasta and zucchini pasta. 

I recommend cooking this one up for the males in your life - what guy doesn't love meatballs right? - but also because it means they can have a pasta meal that's actually packed full of veggies and slow releasing carbohydrates which won't leave them feeling sluggish and full afterwards. It's also jam packed with lycopene from the tomatoes which is an anti-oxidant that has been shown to  improve prostate health. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g beef mince
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 egg
1 small carrot, grated
½ cup quinoa flakes
4 tablespoons oregano, chopped
1 onion, diced
800g tinned tomatoes
¼ cup basil leaves
½ cup stock/broth or water (any kind)
Salt and pepper
4 large zucchinis, julienned into spaghetti
Parmesan cheese and extra basil to serve 

Directions

Prepare the meatballs by mixing the beef, 2 garlic cloves, the egg, the carrot, the quinoa flakes, 2 tablespoons oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll into balls and place in the fridge.

Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce by adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to a pan on low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, before adding the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and cooking for a further 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, 2 tablespoons of oregano, the stock and some salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil while you brown off the meatballs (cook in a pan for 4-5minutes until just brown all over). Then add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Steam the zucchini pasta for 2 minutes then divide between four bowls, top with the meatballs and spoon over the remaining sauce. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan and some extra basil.