Nothing sounds better than curling up on the couch with a warm bowl of comfort food as the weather turns colder.
This weekend, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up warm soups, dreamy chocolate cakes, and baked apples.
But last night, I wanted to revisit some of the warm, aromatic flavors of the Middle East.
It’s a dish I’ve done a lot of times.
They are one of my favorites because they are hot and spicy with a sweet twist.
I wanted to incorporate them into a dish, and that’s when I got the idea for this spicy and fresh recipe.
I have this amazing kitchen tool called a julienne peeler.
It’s cool, cheap, and easy to use. And it allows you to eat “spaghetti” in all new ways you never imagined.
You can also julienne all sorts of vegetables, often used when cooking Asian food, or just when you want a salad with nice fine textures.
Sometimes I use half zucchini spaghetti and half whole-grain spaghetti, but for this dish, just using zucchini is sufficient and makes the dish lighter and more paleo-friendly.
As the colder months are upon us, I like adding extra spices and chili.
You get such a warm and hearty feeling that brings that familiar flush to the cheeks that’s so welcome in the cold winter.
At the same time, the dish is very light and fresh, leaving the body with energy instead of stealing it by consuming a heavy meal.
Fennel and Nigella seeds are both aromatic and beautiful spices that can turn even the most boring meal into an exotic dining experience.
If you’re not familiar with these spices, you should try using them in your cooking right away.
Nigella seeds are amazing when you sprinkle them on homemade rolls to give your bread a Middle Eastern flavor.
Fennel seeds have a licorice flavor and are also incredible for snacking; I sometimes snack on fennel seeds with gooey banana chips, yum!
I highly recommend that you make a double batch of the tomato and chili sauce and store half of it in a jar in your refrigerator.
This makes it very easy to make again, and trust me. You will be craving it again soon. You can also use the sauce as a regular tomato sauce for pizza, pasta, lasagna, etc.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that it leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy and wanting more.
So go ahead, whip up a batch of these meatballs and enjoy the flavors of the Middle East in the comfort of your own home.
Zucchini Spaghetti with Spicy Meatballs
- 400 g beef meat minced
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, grated
- ½ bundle of parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- ½ tsp hot chili powder
- ½ tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 400 g organic tomatoes
- 125 ml red wine
- 1 onion
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 2 tbsp soy
- 2 tbsp red wine balsamic
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ bundle fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 bundle parsley
- ½ bundle fresh basil leaves
- Start with making the tomato-chili sauce. Chop onions and garlic. Split the chill open, remove seeds and chop it. In a pot saut © onions in olive oil in 5-10 min until they appear slightly golden. Then add chill and garlic and saut © 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- On each platter combine zucchini spaghetti with very hot tomato sauce and some meatballs, drizzle with nigella seeds.