Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zucchini pasta with turkey meatballs

I love the idea of pasta, and I love the sauces that go with pasta, what I do not love is pasta.  Don't get me wrong if you put a plate of pasta with a nice sauce on it I will happily eat it, I just would not cook it for myself.  Because of this I am always looking for substitutes for the pasta. In the past I have used shredded cabbage quickly cooked and spaghetti squash, but I have been wanting to try zucchini as a substitute.  My husband currently is in Europe waiting for me to join him, so I am on my own for dinner, it was time to experiment.

I am trying to lose that last couple of pounds before leaving for my vacation so a light meal was in order and as I was on my own a one dish meal was also the order of the day.

Turkey meat balls

Feeds 4

1lb of ground turkey
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon of chopped mint.
2 tablespoons of fine breadcrumbs.
1/4 cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together then form in to balls about the size of small walnuts.  Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Place in a preheated 400 oven for between 15 and 20 minutes until they are just cooked through, you do not want to overcook and dry them out.

I used a 1/4 of these for my dinner for one and will use the remainder this week for dinners and lunch.

Pasta and sauce

Feeds one
2 zucchini
1 tablespoon of olive oil
8 large cherry tomatoes or more if they are really small
2 ribs of celery
Handful of arugula (optional)
Fresh basil (I did not have any, but if I had, I would definitely have added some)

First prepare the zucchini by washing and drying and then using a potato peeler slice thin slices length ways.

Slice off until you hit the seeds in the center and then rotate and slice off the other 3 sides, so that you are left with a square core which you could discard. Or as I did dip in to hummus and eat while you were cooking.

Heat up the olive oil and add the tomatoes and celery.

Cook until the tomatoes are softened

At this point I would have added fresh basil if I had it, add the zucchini strips.

Toss with the tomatoes and celery and add the turkey meat balls.

Toss again and cover with a lid for a couple of minutes.  The turkey balls just need to be heated and the zucchini needs very little cooking as it is so thin. As soon as the zucchini is softened serve in a pasta bowl and if you have it top with arugula.

This was delicious and made a wonderful light meal for one.  If you also do not love pasta, or trying to cut down on calories or carbs this zucchini pasta really is a good alternative, and I loved my turkey meatballs. This made a really good quick dinner for one, but if you did not want to bother with making the meat balls then a good italian sausage cut up would have worked as well.

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