Gluten-free 'spaghetti' and meatballs

'Spaghetti' and meatballs; a gluten-free alternative using zucchini strips.
'Spaghetti' and meatballs; a gluten-free alternative using zucchini strips. Photo: Supplied

OK, it's not strictly spaghetti - but this zucchini pasta is just as delicious as the real thing and a lot lighter too.



4 tbsp ghee, coconut oil or olive oil

2 handfuls baby spinach

350g pork mince

150g beef mince

2 cloves garlic

1 French shallot, finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 free-range egg yolk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

fresh parsley or basil to serve

Italian tomato sauce

2 tbsp ghee, coconut or olive oil

50g garlic, thinly sliced

500g tinned tomatoes, crushed

8 basil leaves


6 whole zucchinis, cut into spaghetti strips on a mandolin or julienne slicer

3 large carrots, peeled, cut into spaghetti strips on a mandolin or julienne slicer

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste


1. Heat a frying pan with one tablespoon of ghee or oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat, drain and squeeze out any excess liquid from the spinach then set aside and allow to cool.

2. Return the pan to medium heat and add one tablespoon of oil, the shallot and garlic cloves to the pan. Fry for three minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is lightly browned. Set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork mince, beef mince, spinach, garlic, onion, parsley, egg yolk and salt and pepper until well incorporated. Roll the meatball mix into golf ball-sized portions.

4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the ghee or oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and fry until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and 125 millilitres of water then simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Add the basil and simmer for a further five minutes. Season and blend until smooth.

5. To cook the meatballs, heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the meatballs until golden on one side. Turn the meatballs over and place the pan in the oven for five minutes until the meatballs are cooked through. Add the tomato sauce to the pan, cover with a lid and heat gently over the stovetop until ready to serve.

6. To make the spaghetti, fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the carrot and cook for 30 seconds, then add the zucchini and cook for a further 30 seconds or until the vegetables are tender. Drain, toss through a splash of olive oil and season.

7. Divide the spaghetti onto four serving plates. Top with the meatballs, spoon the tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle with chopped parsley or freshly torn basil.