As you might know, I *try* to eat as low carb as possible, due to the fact that I have type 1 diabetes. The silver lining to my diagnosis last year is that due to the Atkins diet, low carb eating is quite popular, so it’s easier than it could be to find recipes that I can fit into my diet.
Spiralized vegetables have really become popular in the past couple of years as they provide a low carb alternative to high carb foods, especially pasta and noodles. Spriralized courgette (known as courgetti in the UK, or zoodles in the US) is common, as it is tasty and very quick to cook, as well as being incredibly low carb.
Does it give you that comforting full belly that a big bowl of pasta provides? Absolutely not. But it is a good replacement for pasta if you need to eat low carb (or gluten free for that matter) for any reason.
Which brings me to this recipe. I was eating alone one night and wanted something quick and easy to make. Spiralizers have become really popular, but I don’t own one, so if I was to make courgetti I either use my julienne peeler, which has the same effect, or I just buy a pack from the supermarket already prepared. I suspect that when I made this meal I did the latter.
What I like about this recipe is that with the creamy sauce, you do feel like you’re eating something luxurious, even though you don’t have the satisfying carbs.
4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 2 left whole and unpeeled
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
400g cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
zest 1 Lemon
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the mince in a bowl, season well and add the crushed garlic. Mix together with your hands, then shape into small meatballs – roughly the size of a cherry tomato. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan, add the meatballs and fry for 10-15 mins until golden brown. Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes into a roasting tin with the whole garlic cloves and the remaining oil. Season and roll around the tin until well coated in oil, then roast for 15 mins.
While the meatballs and tomatoes cook, use a spiralizer or a julienne peeler to create courgette noodles. Once cooked, tip the meatballs into the roasting tin with the tomatoes, fish out the garlic and set aside, then cover the tin with foil to keep warm.
Wash the frying pan. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the pan, squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins into the pan and mash with a fork. When sizzling, add the crème fraîche, lemon zest and some seasoning. Add the courgetti and toss in the pan for 30 secs until warmed through – any longer and it will wilt. Remove the pan from the heat, and tip in the meatballs, tomatoes and any juices from the tin. Toss together and serve.