Spaghetti and meatballs don’t have to be a guilty pleasure when the “pasta” is made of zucchini cut into curly strands using a spiralizer and the meatballs are made with ground turkey instead of beef and pork. Use a light hand when forming the meatballs so that they remain tender.
Zucchini “Spaghetti” with Meatballs
For the tomato sauce:
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
- 1 can (28 oz./875 g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb. (500 g) ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 cups (3 oz./90 g) fresh bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large zucchini, trimmed and run through the coarse shredder blade of a spiralizer
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. To make the sauce, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the red pepper flakes and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water, the tomatoes, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the flavors have deepened and the mixture has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. While the sauce simmers, make the meatballs: In a bowl, combine the turkey with the garlic, thyme, bread crumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix gently until combined. Form the mixture into about 24 meatballs, using about 2 Tbs. of the mixture each.
3. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches, sear the meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini to the pan and and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes more.
4. To serve, divide among 4 individual bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen