Recipe by Pete Evans
Spaghetti and meatballs: It’s a perfect example of a classic home-cooked meal that any person, whether adult or kid, would love to indulge on. It’s also versatile — you can use any type of protein for the meatballs and/or replace the traditional red sauce with a creamy white sauce.
Today I’d like to share with you a truly unique spaghetti and meatballs recipe, created by renowned Australian chef Pete Evans, who I teamed up with to write the soon-to-be-released “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook.” Instead of the typical grain-based pasta, this recipe uses zucchini and carrots, for a more flavorful yet healthy dish that would surely satisfy your taste buds without expanding your waistline.
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 pound organic free-range pork mince
1/4 pound organic free-range beef mince
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 free-range egg yolk
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves, finely chopped, to serve
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups organic canned crushed tomatoes, deseeded and peeled
8 basil leaves, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into spaghetti strips on a mandolin or slicer
6 zucchinis, deseeded, peeled and cut into spaghetti strips on a mandolin or slicer
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Tomato Sauce Procedure:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, or until lightly browned. Pour in the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water, and then simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
3. Add the basil and simmer for two minutes longer.
4. Season with salt and pepper. You can blend the sauce if you prefer it smooth.
5. Keep warm and put to the side for meatballs.
Meat Ball Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook for two minutes until just wilted. Drain the spinach and leave to cool. Once cool, squeeze out any excess liquid, roughly chop and transfer to a bowl.
3. Return the pan to medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil, the shallot and garlic. Fry for three minutes or until the shallot is translucent and the garlic is lightly browned. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix the pork mince, beef mince, spinach, shallot and garlic, parsley, egg yolk and some salt and pepper until well combined. Roll into golf ball-sized portions and set aside.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large ovenproof frying pan. Add the meatballs and fry until golden on one side. Turn the meatballs over and place the pan in the oven for 5 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
6. Remove the pan from the oven, add the tomato sauce, cover and keep warm.
Vegetable Spaghetti Procedure:
1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Add the carrots and cook for 30 seconds, then add the zucchini and cook for another 30 seconds, or until tender.
3. Drain, toss with a splash of the olive oil and season with salt.
4. Divide spaghetti between four serving plates, top with the meatballs, spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with the parsley or basil and serve.
Tip: Zucchinis and tomatoes, two main ingredients of this dish, actually contain plant lectins, which may have problematic effects on your health. To safely reduce the lectin in these foods, I advise deseeding and removing their skins, as these are what contain the most lectin.
For the zucchini, use a spiralizer that removes the seeds. You can also manually peel and deseed the zucchinis, and then cut them into thin strips using a knife. It may take a bit more effort, but the results are surely worth it.
Make Sure You’re Eating Organic, Grass Fed Meats
This recipe blends two kinds of protein, pork and beef, for the meatballs. But as much as possible, stay away from the meats sold in supermarkets and groceries, as they most likely come from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
These corporate-controlled environments characterized by large scale, centralized productions are operating mainly for processing, producing more meat for less money — and consumers are paying the price, because what you’re getting is antibiotic-loaded meats that are nutritionally inferior.
Instead, seek organic, antibiotic-free, grass fed meats that are raised by local farmers who follow the principles of regenerative farming. This will ensure that you get meat from animals that are raised on their natural diet and are allowed to roam free instead of being cramped in small spaces.
Don’t be tempted to overeat meat as well, no matter how healthy the other components of the dish are. High protein intake will activate your mTOR pathway and pose unhealthy consequences on your health. Ideally, keep your serving size to 4 ounces, if you’re a large male, and 2 ounces if you are a small woman or child.
Reminders on Cooking and Buying Tomatoes
Tomatoes are incredibly healthy, but they must be properly prepared before cooking (Again, remember to remove the seeds and peel, as they have the highest lectin content). They’re rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamins A, C, and E, as well as B-complex vitamins. Potassium, manganese and phosphorus are also found abundantly in tomatoes.
However, the most sought-after nutrient in this food is lycopene, the carotenoid antioxidant that gives it its vibrant red color. Lycopene is valued for its antioxidant activity, potential to reduce your stroke risk and role in bone health. It’s also shown promise in combating prostate cancer.
When buying prepacked tomatoes, I advise looking for varieties that come in glass containers or jars, as most cans today are lined with material containing bisphenol-A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to various health problems. Because of their acidity, tomatoes can cause the BPA from the cans to leach into your food.
In addition, you can also use fresh tomatoes that are grown and harvested from your own garden. It’s a fairly easy-to-grow crop, which is why as much as 95 percent of home gardeners are planting tomatoes in their backyard.[i]
You can grow tomatoes in containers, raised beds or anywhere there’s soil; however, there are some important pointers you need to remember to make the most of them. Read my article “How to Grow the Most Flavorful Tomatoes” for useful tips in planting tomatoes.
These ‘Green’ Ingredients Make This a Wholesome and Satisfying Dish
Carrots and zucchinis both impart an impressive array of health benefits, but they’re not the only vegetables that make this a standout meal. Just take a look at what these other ingredients can do for your well-being.
· Spinach — This popular leafy green offers high amounts of niacin and zinc, as well as fiber, protein, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. It also contains vitamins A, C, E and K.
Spinach is also abundant in flavonoid antioxidants that can help protect you from free radicals. Studies have also shown that this vegetable can be useful for brain health by helping maintain vigorous brain function, mental clarity and memory.
· Parsley — This herb has impressive amounts of vitamin K, a vitamin essential in maintaining bone strength that is believed to play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease through minimizing neuronal damage in the brain. It also offers vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein. Iron, copper, folate, manganese and fiber are present in parsley, too.
· Basil — Thanks to its high amounts of vitamins A, C and K, as well as manganese and essential oils such as geraniol, cinnamate, citronellol, terpineol, linalool and pinene, basil has been valued for its immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, diabetes-preventing,[ii] pain-reducing and blood vessel-protecting properties, just to name a few. It’s also fairly easy to grow — check out this article, “How to Grow Basil,” for more helpful gardening tips.
About Pete Evans
Pete Evans is an internationally renowned chef who has joined forces with Dr. Mercola to create a healthy cookbook that’s loaded with delicious, unique Keto recipes, ideal for people who want to switch to a ketogenic diet. The “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook” will be released November 14.
Pete has had numerous noteworthy contributions to the culinary world. He has not only cooked for the general public, but he’s also cooked a royal banquet for the Prince and Princess of Denmark, a private dinner for Martha Stewart, and even represented his hometown at the gala GʼDay USA dinner for 600 in New York City. Pete’s career has moved from the kitchen into the lounge room with many TV appearances including Lifestyle Channel’s “Home show,” “Postcards from Home,” “FISH,” “My Kitchen Rules” and “Moveable Feast.”