Spaghetti and Meatballs

spaghettimeatballsFollowing up on my low carb pasta post a few months ago, here’s a recipe for a nice low carb meal of spaghetti and meatballs (using shirataki or zucchini noodles).  I’d start by making the meatballs (you can make these in advance and then heat them up later).  Everything is freshly made except for the shirataki spaghetti, which you easily purchase at Wholefoods or at various supermarkets (most Korean supermarkets sell a variety of them).

Meatballs:  Ingredients (makes 16-20 meatballs)

  • 2lbs pork tenderloin or other lean cut of pork minced or beef or turkey or whatever type of meat you want to use in a food processor (you can buy ground meat, but I prefer to grind my own, since I then know exactly what is going into it)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 eggs, beaten (this holds the meatballs together)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • (Optional)  2 tablespoons of thyme
  • (Optional)  2 tablespoons of fennel seeds  (I particularly like to use fennel seeds with beef, but they add a lot of flavor with all meats)

Meatballs:  Directionsmeatballsmix (1)

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Beat the eggs and food process the pork so that it’s minced.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl (I use my hands to do the mixing). 
  • Shape meatballs with your hands into 1 to 1.5 inch diameter balls (size of a golfball or a little bit bigger), and place them on a non-stick baking tray (no need to grease it).  It makes around 16-20 meatballs, depending on how big you make them.
  • Put it in the oven and cook for 45 minutes (ovens and sizes of the meatballs can differ and so the cooking time can vary – I would cut one in half to make sure the meat is cooked all the way through).meatballsontray
  • (Optional) You can brown the meatballs a little by putting them under the broiler for 2 minutes after they’re cooked.

meatballsmix (2)

Tomato Sauce:  Ingredients (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (I would recommend using the serrated peeler to peel the tomatoes – the pack of 3 peels also comes with a julienne peeler, which is perfect for making zucchini noodles)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste (I put in 1.5 tablespoons of salt and a pinch of pepper)

Tomato Sauce:  Directions

  • Place the olive oil in a large frying pan at medium temperature.
  • Put the minced garlic into the oil and fry for 5 minutes without browning it.
  • Add the tomatoes, basil and cook for another 2 minutes.tomatosauce
  • Add the white wine and the chicken broth and cook for around 10-15 minutes on medium heat (so that it’s simmering) until the sauce is less liquid-y.tomatosauce2

Putting It All Together:

If you’re making zucchini noodles, then you should use a julienne peeler to create the noodles (see low carb pasta post for directions)  and then cook the zucchini noodles for 30 seconds on high in the microwave.  If you’re planning to use Shirataki (miracle) noodles, then rinse them in cold water and then place them in the microwave for 30 seconds on high to get rid of any excess water.  Since both types of pasta are pretty much carb-less and calorie-less, you can pretty much use as much as you want (I recommend 1 zucchini per serving or 1 packet of Shirataki noodles per serving just so you don’t run out of sauce).

Place the pasta on the bottom of a bowl, place 3 meatballs on top, and then pour the sauce onto it.

I calculated each meatball at around 90 calories (for 1.5inch diameter pork meatballs) and 130 calories for each serving of sauce.  So for a bowl of 3 meatballs plus the sauce and pasta, it’s around 400 calories.  The meatballs have negligible carbs and each serving of sauce has around 4g net carbs (mostly from the garlic and tomatoes).  All-Paleo for those of you who care.

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