I used to love spaghetti with meat sauce. It was my favorite food back in the day when I was a really picky eater and refused to eat anything resembling a vegetable. This dish tastes EXACTLY like that - but it's got so much more going on than just pasta, meat and tomatoes. This is one of those dishes you can easily experiment with, adding spices and veggies as you like - although I would recommend keeping with the Italian theme of the dish so that all new flavors you introduce won't clash with the existing base flavors. I originally found this dish at PaleOMG but replaced most of the dry spices with whole vegetables for a more well-rounded dish.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
mandoline slicer with julienne attachment (if you can julienne veggies with just a knife, more power to ya)
13x9 baking dish
2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef (I've also made it with ground bison)
15oz. can pizza sauce
15oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 yellow squash
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 box of mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence (or Italian Seasoning)
2 tbsp. cooking oil (coconut oil, bacon grease, duck fat, olive oil)
salt and pepper
1. Cut the ends off of your zucchini and yellow squash. Using a mandoline slicer, julienne the zucchini and squash.
Don't forget to use the safety holder!
2. Throw all of your veggie noodles in a colander and salt liberally (tossing to make sure salt gets to all of the noodles). Let sit (over a bowl or in the sink) for half an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. While noodles are 'sweating', heat your cooking oil in a skillet and add your ground beef. Then add your onion, garlic, mushrooms, and italian seasoning. Once the meat has browned and your onions and mushrooms get soft, add the crushed tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
5. Rinse the veggie noodles to get rid of the salt, then, two handfuls at a time, gather some in a few paper towels and firmly but gently squeeze them to wring out the excess water (there will be a lot). Do not skip this step - it will give your veggie noodles better crunch and will keep the casserole from being too watery.
6. Add the veggie noodles to your casserole dish along with your ground beef/tomato mixture. Add pizza sauce, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine (be careful - your casserole dish will be quite full). You can also mix everything in a large bowl and then pour it into your casserole dish.
7. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes until the top veggies are slightly browned and the noodles are soft.
8. Let sit for half an hour before cutting into it.
That's it. Pretty simple. And it makes a ton! You can use the 'sweating' method for any recipe that calls for zucchini noodles. It makes such a difference in the texture of the final product.
Want to know how it tastes? Check out my recipe review web series Table Scraps where my buddy Jeremy pulls no punches in reviewing all of my homemade Paleo recipes.