Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paleo Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce

wine is optional, but if you're putting some in your sauce, why not your glass? ;)

I wanted to make some easy comfort food for dinner, as I had my kids and the caveman's as well. I made some homemade meat sauce, which for them became baked ziti with meat sauce (using brown rice pasta and Daiya dairy-free cheese).

I julienned two zucchinis (which were gifts from a friend's garden... mmm!) and sauteed them in a tbs. of ghee. I've always used olive oil in the past, but I really liked the buttery flavory the ghee gave the noodles. I also find that ever since I started sweating my zucchini noodles before cooking (thank you, Melissa!) they are the perfect texture without being soggy.

Tonight's meat sauce was adapted from a pretty basic one in Cooking Light. If you're not cooking for a crowd or have more ambitious eaters, I definitely suggest adding more red pepper flakes or perhaps some ground spicy sausage. It also helps to make the sauce earlier in the day or the night before, to allow the flavors to really marry before eating it.

Paleo Meat Sauce

1 tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
5 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
pinch of stevia
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb. natural ground beef
1 tsp. each onion and garlic powder

Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Cook vegetables and Italian seasoning until soft. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and allow to simmer for at least half an hour. Taste for seasoning and tweak as necessary.

While sauce is simmering, cook beef with onion and garlic powder until no longer pink. Add to sauce and mix well.

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