My favorite thing in the world to eat is pasta. Like, if I was seeing my last days and someone was like, Adrianna, what would you like to eat because dying sucks? I’d be like, BRING ME PASTA! A gigantic bowl of pasta bolognese with a glass of lambrusco would be it for me. So, it’s not really a surprise that the dish I crave the most when I’m trying to eat healthier is pasta.
Last year I got super into zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs every single night for like weeks, WEEKS. I actually first discovered the glory of spiralized vegetables from Ali’s blog, Inspiralized. At first I was like, uh, I dunno, I like real pasta but then I was needing something healthier in my life and this seemed like an awesome alternative.
I’m on an enchilada kick lately and today I’d like to introduce to you my latest obsession: enfrijoladas. It’s like a bean and enchilada sauce got married and no I didn’t make it up, it’s actually a thing. It’s basically enchilada sauce but with mixed black beans it it and cheese because CHEESE! It feels glorious and filling (duh) and super cheesy but surprisingly not like a gut-buster. That’s probably because there’s no meat in these—they’re veggie all the way.
This weekend is this football game everyone loves called The Super Bowl. Have you heard of it? I don’t know who is playing BUT I will by Friday and when I do, I’ll proceed to do lots of research so I can root for someone. It’s funny, I don’t really watch or pay attention to sports but I love all of the ESPN’s 30 for 30s and have watched the majority of them. Perhaps because they’re story-driven and they highlight some of the most beautiful stories.
Welcome to the meal I’ve been eating almost every single day for the last few weeks. I’m obsessed with zucchini noodles. Mainly because there’s nothing I love more than normal Spagehtti and Meatballs, but since I’m trying to cut back on flour, this is sufficing…for now.
There are plenty of zucchini noodles around the web; this is my version, which I’m strangely excited to share.
Let’s start with how to make zucchini noodles. For this post, I used a mandolin, though be careful because they can be a bit dangerous, or you can use a Spiralizer is the only kitchen tool that will make noodles that are spirally and beautiful, like these:
I mean, I can just stare at them all day long. Am I the only one obsessed with how pretty they are?!
1 28-ouncecan of good quality tomatoes like San Marzano
1parmesan rind, optional
4medium zucchinis, ends trimmed and either spiralized or julienned
To a large bowl, add the ground turkey, dried bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and salt.
In a medium sauté pan, placed over medium heat, pour in a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion to the oil and cook until translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the minced garlic, Italian parsley, sage and crushed red pepper. Add the onion mixture to the bowl of meat. Mix the turkey mixture until completely combined, but being careful to not over mix. Scoop out two tablespoons of the turkey mixture, and using your hands, roll it into a ball. Repeat until all meatballs are formed.
To sear the meatballs, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan (you can use the same one you just used for the onion mixture–we’re into saving dishes around here). When the oil is hot, gently add the meatballs and sear on all sides for about 1-2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer them to a bed of paper towels to drain. Repeat until you’ve seared all of the meatballs, adding more oil, if the pan needs it.
To make the tomato sauce, add the olive oil to a dutch oven or medium pot. When the oil is hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage leaves and crushed red pepper; cook for an additional minute, until fragrant. Pour in the can of tomatoes and add the parmesan rind (if using); mix and cover the pot, allowing the tomato sauce to simmer, over low heat, for 20 minutes.
Remove the rind and using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the tomato sauce until smooth (if you're using a regular blender you may need to do this in batches). Transfer back to the pot and salt to taste.
Add the seared meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
To make the zucchini noodles, add a teaspoon of olive oil to a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini noodles, cooking them for about 3 to 5 minutes. I say go with what you like. I go a bit under because I like them to have a bit of bite. Add them to a big bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. Place the meatballs on top and garnish with a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a handful of Italian parsley.
Zucchini Noodles with Turkey Meatballs
Amount Per Serving (4 g)
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.