Sometimes you just don't feel like a carb dense dish. I'm a big fan of gluten-free pasta, but I do tend to suffer from bloating after. This recipe is a fantastic alternative, particularly if you have kids and want to get an added dose of hidden veggies into them - let's face it there isn't much goodness in pasta is there. But courgettes are rich in antioxidants including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin c and magnesium. I use one courgette per person to replace pasta and, though the spiralizer removes the core, I chop this up finely and add it to the dish too. It is also important to leave the skin on as it's antioxidant rich. My son loves this spiralized pasta alternative!!
This recipe is very easy and very quick to prepare but you do need a couple of hours cooking time to get the best out of the flavours, though you can reduce the time to 30 mins if you're rushed. You need just a few ingredients.
• 2 x carrots, finely chopped into little cubes
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 6 tbsp olive oil
• 150g cubed pancetta
• 400g minced beef
• 200ml red wine
• 1.5 tbsp tomato puree
• 200ml stock - I use my own homemade chicken broth/stock, though beef stock would be more appropriate I suppose. It'll taste delicious either way and if you're not intolerant to gluten or yeast and want to use a stock cube, then I always used to use Marigold Swiss Bouillon.
• 3 courgettes
• Heat olive oil in pan, add onion, carrot and pancetta and sweat for 10 mins
• Add the meat and brown all over
• Increase heat and add the wine, let evaporate
• Add tomato puree
• Turn heat down low and cook gently for 2 hours for the best flavours. However, if you don't have time, then cook for 30 mins. You do need minimum of 30 mins to let the flavours take a hold. Anything less and the dish is just not the same!
• While the sauce is cooking spiralize 3 courgettes. The spiralizer will remove the core/pith, but I like to chop this up very thinly and also add this to the sauce.
• Once the sauce is done, add the spiralized courgette and cook for about 1 minute. You don't want the courgette to be soggy, a little crunchy is good so just a light cook and then serve.