Our weekday dinners are carb free, and I am always looking out for new and exciting ideas and inspiration. “Zoodles” short for zucchini noodles are readily available at most stores now days. You can also make them yourself if you have a spiraliser, but to be honest, why would you even want to?

Last night I served this dish for dinner, and my 17-year-old daughter seemed suitably impressed. Her response: “At last, our carb free pasta dish recipes have been solved”, made me think that this recipe  may be something worthy of sharing on my blog. Look, there is no way that zoodles can replaces the satisfaction of the real deal pasta, but I promise it does comes pretty darn close! My 71-year-old mother-in-law, who has never seen or heard of a zoodle in her life, was convinced that I had actually made proper pasta noodles out of zucchini, which I thought was rather amusing and sweet, and in an ideal world would be a revelation in itself. I didn’t try and explain to her as my rational was that it would be better to allow her the pleasure of that thought, rather than ruin the magical image she had of eating real pasta zucchini noodles.

I know what you are thinking… did my husband and son like it? Well, YES, they loved it, and it was my thinking, that as long as I had meat in the dish they would be quite content.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 x 350g packet of Zucchini noodles – steamed in the microwave for about 3 minutes

500g mince – I used lean mince (You can substitute this with chicken or pork mince too)

½ onion – finely chopped

3 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tbsp. meat spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

For the sauce:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 x punnet button mushrooms – sliced

½ onion – finely chopped

3 garlic cloves – crushed

3 x tins of whole tomatoes

2 x bay leaves

Chilli flakes – optional

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tsp. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C.

2 Place the mince, onion, parsley, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well with your hand. (I didn’t use an egg to bind it, as I found that it binds easily enough).

3 With wet hands roll the mince into meatballs, whatever size you like.

4 Place the meatballs on a greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.

The sauce:

1 Fry the onions in olive oil until translucent.

2 Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for a further 5 minutes.

3 Add the tinned tomatoes, making sure that the whole tomatoes are broken up.

4 Add the bay leaves and parsley.

5 Add the sugar.

6 Season well.

7 Let it simmer on a low heat until slightly reduced and thickened.

8 Add the meatballs to the sauce and stir in.

9 Place the steamed zoodles on a serving dish and cover with the meatball/tomato sauce.

10 Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and Parmesan shavings.

11 Enjoy!