Growing up I ate a lot of pasta and Italian food. It has always been my favorite thing to not only eat, but to cook as well. The transition into a ketogenic lifestyle has not left much room for the Italian foods I grew up with, but that said all the pasta made me super fat and I don’t like being fat… clothes don’t fit as well plus some other stuff. It’s a whole big thing. Thankfully, keto made fatness a thing of the past for me and it only required ditching the pasta, but I digress…
These zoodles are an amazing substitute. I use a simple handheld spiralizer. It costs under 10 dollars at CVS and the added effort of doing it by hand means you’ll burn more calories, so save the money and buy handheld.
The rest is pretty much the same as any baked pasta dish. The meatballs are a single guy, fatbody staple! I love meatballs because (besides being a ball of delicious meat) they can freeze and store easily, they are simple and relatively inexpensive to make and it’s pretty hard to screw them up.
I'm going to catch some heat for this but... I used a jarred sauce. The trick is to find one with NO ADDED sugar. Rao's is a good brand, but most natural food stores will have a variety of brands. Tomatoes have enough sugar naturally, they don’t need it added in and the low quality jarred sauce brands add a ton of it. But, I also like to dress the sauce up a bit… add some olive oil, a bit of cream and some seasonings to give it that home cooked taste. It comes out pretty good. It’s not Mary's recipe but it's a good quick substitute.
- 12 Meatballs
- Jar of Sauce
- 4 Zucchini
- 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tablespoon Garlic
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Basil to garnish
Make the meatballs. Click here for that recipe.
Spiralize your zucchini, salt them and let them rest. See picture below*
In a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan, add half of the olive oil called for in the recipe and preheat at a medium heat (6 out of 10).
Add the meatballs to the pan making sure to allow each side to cook evenly.
Once the meatballs have cooked, remove them and set off to the side.
Lower the heat to a medium low (2 out of 10) and add your garlic and the remaining oil.
Next add the sauce, cream, salt and pepper and let the sauce thicken up a bit. Allow about 10 minutes at a low simmer with occasional stirring.
Preheat oven broiler on high.
Add half of the parmesan cheese and stir.
Pat down the zoodles one last time and add them to the sauce.
Next add back the meatballs and mix. Allowing all the parts to simmer together on a low heat so the flavors can combine. About 10 minutes to simmer.
Top the pan with the mozzarella cheese, followed by the basil and finally the rest of the parmesan cheese.
Broil on high for no more than 10 minutes or until the cheese gets nice and golden brown. It won’t take long… a broiler is just the top burner, so your heat is coming entirely from the top of the oven. Be careful this can burn very quickly!!