Monday, April 14, 2014

Spaghetti Alla Diavola with Meatballs


It's back to the daily grind for me, no more vacation. Costa Rica was amazing. We met some awesome people, ate some delicious food, and had an experience of a lifetime. Anyway, it's been three days since I've been back and it's been a slow process getting my body adjusted to reality. I usually spend my Sundays meal prepping for the week but I just couldn't get my body to do anything. So, spaghetti and meatballs to the rescue. This recipe may look lengthy and laborious but it's not. There's just a lot of ingredients, but trust me, it's worth the little extra effort.

Spaghetti Alla Diavola with Meatballs
What you'll need:

For the marinara:
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 hot Italian chili or cayenne pepper, minced
  • 32 oz no salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP Herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning if you can't find this)
  • 1 TBSP red chili flakes
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano/marjoram
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3 TBSP coconut sugar
  • fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 TBSP grassfed unsalted butter (optional)
For the meatballs: 
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, minced fine
  • 3 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp marjoram/oregano
  • 1.5 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 tsp coconut aminos
  • 2 TBSP marinara
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1-2 TBSP coconut flour (optional)
What to do:
  1. Make the marinara sauce. Heat a pot over medium heat and add about 1 TBSP of olive oil. Saute onions and pepper until fragrant. Add the garlic, chili flakes, and Herbes de Provence. Saute until fragrant. 
  2. Add the tomato sauce and stir. Then add the water and the remaining spices (garlic powder to the bay leaves). Stir to combine. Then stir in the coconut sugar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  3. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with it's lid and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before removing from the heat, give it a little taste to see if it needs more seasoning or sugar, to your preference. 
  4. Remove from heat. Add the 1/2 TBSP of grassfed unsalted butter, if using. Cool slightly before taking an immersion blender and blending the sauce together. Alternatively, the sauce could be cooled and poured in a blender/food processor and blended until smooth. Set aside to cool while you prepare the meatballs. 
  5. Preheat your oven to 425F. In a bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients together. Mix all the ingredients together, your hands are the best tools. If the mixture looks a little too moist, add 1 TBSP of coconut flour at a time. 
  6. On a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, roll each meatball to about 1.5 inches (I used an ice cream scoop to measure out the meat mixture). Place on the baking sheet. Continue to roll each meatball until you have no more of the meat mixture. Makes approximately 24 meatballs. 
  7. Drizzle the meatballs with a little olive oil and place in the oven to bake at 425F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 350F and bake for another 10. 
  8. Remove the meatballs from the oven and set aside to cool slightly as you prepare your pasta. I used 4 medium sized zucchini (not listed in ingredients above). Chop of the ends and peel each zucchini. Using a spiralizer, make the "spaghetti" noodles, aka "zoodles." Alternatively, you could also use spaghetti squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Rub a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Using a fork, shred the squash. 
  9. In a pan, heat up some marinara sauce and meatballs until it begins to simmer. Turn off the heat and pour over zoodles or spaghetti squash. Top with some grated cheese and fresh chopped basil, if desired. 

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