During the weekend we haven’t seen much of the sun and instead it has been really dark and time for some cozy-couch cover-up! I’ve been reading books, drinking coffee, finishing school assignments, watching movies and of course spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Warm soups, dreamy chocolate cake and baked apples has all been on the menu, and then last night it was time to revisit some of the warm aromatic flavours from the middle east.
I have made the meatballs for this dish many times before. It is one of our favourites since they are hot, spicy and still have a sweet twist to them. I have been wanting to incorporate them into a dish, and that’s when I got the idea for this spicy and jet fresh and crispy recipe.
We have this amazing kitchen tool called a julienne peeler. It’s really cool, cheap and very easy to use, and it makes it possible to eat ‘spaghetti’ in all new kinds of ways you never imagined possible. You can also cut all sort of veggies into julienne which is often used when cooking asian foods, or simply if you want a salad with nice fine textures. Sometimes I use half zucchini spaghetti and half whole grain spaghetti, but for this dish it is sufficient with only zucchini, and it makes the dish more light and paleo friendly – I need to be supportive of both lifestyles going on in this apartment ;)
Since colder times are on the move I love to add extra spices and chilli to the food. You get such a warm and hearty feeling, and it brings a familiar flushing of the cheeks that’s so very welcome in the cold winter. At the same time the dish is very light and fresh, and leaves the body with energy instead of steeling it by having to digest a heavy meal.
Fennel seeds and nigella seeds are both aromatic and very lovely spices which can make even the most boring meal an exotic food experience. If you are not familiar with these spices you should definitely try to use them in your cooking right away. Nigella seeds are amazing when you sprinkle them on homemade buns and brings that middle eastern flavour to your bread. Fennel seeds have a liquorice flavour and they are incredible even for snacking, I sometimes snack fennel seeds with gooey banana chips, yum!
I can recommend you to make a double batch of the tomato-chili sauce and store one half in a jar in the fridge. It makes it very easy to prepare the dish again, and believe me you will crave it soon again, or you can just use the sauce as any regular tomato sauce for pizza, pasta in, lasagne etc.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy this recipe and be left with a warm feeling and a craving for more…
Zucchini spaghetti w. spicy meatballs and chill-tomato sauce
400 g minced beef meat
1 onion, grated
1/2 bundle of parsley, chopped
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
½ tsp hot chili powder
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 14 oz/400 g can of organic tomatoes
1/2 cup/125 ml red wine
1 fresh red chilli
2 Tbsp soy
2 Tbsp red wine balsamic
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bundle fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 bundle parsley
1/2 bundle fresh basil leaves
1. Start with making the tomato-chili sauce. Chop onions and garlic. Split the chill open, remove seeds and chop it. In a pot sauté onions in olive oil in 5-10 min until they appear slightly golden. Then add chill and garlic and sauté 1 more minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and leave it at least for 1 hour while preparing the rest. Remember to stir it occasionally.
2. Now to the meatballs. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients except the eggs and mix it well together. Then add the egg and mix it into the rest. Let the mixture set in the fridge for 20-30 min.
3. Use a julienne peeler (or a sharp knife and patience) to ‘make’ the zucchini spaghetti. Peel the zucchini until you reach the soft middle which is filled with seeds (don’t use it but save it for smoothies or juices). Roughly chop the basil leaves and parsley and mix into the zucchini spaghetti.
Tip: drizzle with some olive oil, lemon, roasted nuts, salt & pepper, and use it instead of pasta anytime or as a light appetiser or side-dish.
4. Remove meat mixture from fridge. Heat some oil in a big frying pan on medium heat. Use a big tea spoon and one hand to shape the beef mixture into balls, and place them in the skillet. Cook them for approximately 5 min on each side until they have browned and look done. Cut one open to see if they are cooked all the way through.
5. Use a blender (I prefer a hand held blender) to blend the tomato mix into a smooth sauce. If it seems to thick add a little water. Taste it, and adjust the taste with salt & pepper or any of the other taste boosting ingredients (balsamic, tomato paste, soy).
6. On each platter combine zucchini spaghetti with very hot tomato sauce and some meatballs, drizzle with nigella seeds.