What’s a zoodle?

It’s the best thing that ever happened to those of the grain-free persuasion. It’s simply zucchini, sliced into thin spaghetti like strands.  The best way to do it, in my opinion, is with a spiral slicer…like this one:

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This is the slicer I own. Click the pic to buy!

You could also use a julienne peeler, a mandolin or even do it by hand (Yes, I’ve done it. Yes, it’s super annoying) but the spiraled is really the best and by far easiest way to go.

One of the things I do still crave is a hearty, meaty red sauce over pasta.  It’s endlessly comforting.  Unless I can get some handmade pasta, I’m not willing to compromise my health for Barilla, I go without.  Oh what a world, what a world.

I’ve made a lot of sauces in my day.  I’ve put them on spaghetti squash, on shiritaki noodles, I’ve put them on zucchini noodles before but this time I really done good.  It’s a very easy sauce to make, though it does require a bit of cook time.  This makes it perfect for a Sunday dinner.  The trick, I think, is in the final minutes before serving. You’ll see.

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Ingredients (serves 6):

4-6 Yellow Squash or Zucchini depending on size
Olive Oil
1 onion, dicced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp crushed red pepper (more if you like it HOT)
1 lb ground beef (grass-fed is best!)
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or red wine, or dry white wine)
2 tbsp tomato paste2 anchovy fillets, chopped
28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
14 oz can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper

1. In a dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions with some salt/pepper and sauté for 5-8 min until they start to turn golden brown.  Now add the garlic and crushed red pepper.  Continue to sauté for another 3 min or so, until the garlic and pepper is very fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3-5 min, until it’s a brick red. You’re trying to cook out the raw flavor here. Last step in our base flavoring is the two anchovy fillets. Toss em in and give it a stir.

2. Now add your ground beef.  Cook, breaking apart with a spoon, until it is browned and no longer pink.  Now come the spices: oregano, basil, thyme and the bay leaf. Cook for 3-5 min to let the spices come to life. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar (or wine), scraping all of the tasty brown bits off of the bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon.

3. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a low simmer, partially cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning throughout.

When you’re ready to eat, cut your zucchini into spaghetti impressionists, by whatever method you felt was right for you. Here comes the secret, most important step.  Prepare each serving one at a time for the best results here:

1. Heat some olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium, high heat.

2. Add your zucchini with some salt and give it a toss for about a minute.

3. Add 1 cup (per serving) to the sauté pan and toss the zucchini around in it, cooking it in the sauce for another two minutes.

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I swear to you, the zoodles will change before your eyes from vegetable strips to amazing spaghetti noodles. This pasta is filling and comforting but so very good for you! I bet you can get kids to eat this stuff.  Don’t want the beef? Leave it out and make a wonderful basic tomato sauce! I know this Sunday Sauce just might be a new tradition in this house.