Spag bol – my favouritest favourite of all dinners! Takes me back to my childhood and makes me feel like I’m being looked after, even if I’ve made it myself!
When I gave up gluten, I missed pasta….I loved white pasta in particular so much that I would only buy wholemeal pasta, which I liked less. If I bought white pasta, I would eat enough for three people, cue bloated stomach and a niggling thought at the back of my mind that perhaps I had eaten too much….These zucchini noodles are a great “spaghetti” replacement and if I have more than my fair share I don’t have the bloated belly to show it!
And my “bolognaise” sauce is such a staple in our house that I had to find a nightshade free version. Luckily, I have come across a few recipes using beetroot as a substitute for tomato which is a really nice alternative. It adds a beautiful, rich, colour and a sweetness that has been missing since I gave up sugar and stopped adding it to my sauce.
So here’s what I do to make my favourite dish:
For 2 people
Coconut oil or olive oil
250g grass fed, chemical free beef (I like Wootton Valley Meat)
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup stock / bone broth
Handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
I celery stick, chopped
Couple of leaves of kale, chopped
Handful of red cabbage, chopped
1 beetroot, grated
Herbs – oregano, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary or whatever you prefer
Squeeze of lemon, if you have one
To start with, heat oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onions until softened. Add meat and brown. Add carrot, celery, garlic, herbs (unless you are using a soft herb, like basil or parsley, in which case add near the end of cooking) and stock. (At this stage you could also add in a rasher of bacon or two if you like) Cover, and leave to cook for 1-2 hrs. Check every now and then and add more liquid if necessary (water or stock if you have it).
After 1-2 hrs the meat and veg in the sauce should be well cooked and starting to break down a little bit. Now add the remaining veg (if you don’t have the veg listed above, just use what you have – but the beetroot is important to get the rich colour and flavour!). Stir everything in and add more liquid if necessary. Leave to cook for another hour, check regularly.
Once the meat sauce is cooked, just turn of the heat and keep the lid on. It will stay hot for a while like that (at this point I sometimes also add in some raw spinach to wilt into the sauce).
For the “spaghetti”, I use a julienne peeler, you can use a knife and slice into strips or you can use a normal peeler and peel into ribbons. Of course, if you have a tool specifically for making zucchini noodles then use that. Once you have your spaghetti, heat up a frying pan, chuck in the noodles and a splash of stock and cook until warmed though.
Once the spaghetti is cooked add a squeeze of lemon if you have it, then serve with the meat sauce on top in your favourite bowls – delish!