By Dr Megan Chircop
Did I hear you say "I love pasta"? Me too!
With an Italian background there is no way I would be giving up spaghetti bolognese nights! Not only is this meal delicious comfort food but it brings back such nostaligic memories of big family dinners filled with lots of laughter and amazing conversation.
Here is my nutritious version that leaves you feeling satisfied - minus the bloat. You don't have to give up spaghetti completely. The trick is to halve or quarter the quantity of spaghetti and replace it with zoodles - spiralised or thin strips of zucchini (or any other vegetable you like, e.g. carrots, sweet potato, parsnip). Because it is a mixture of spaghetti and vegetables the kids won't even notice and the whole family will benefit from the extra vitamins, minerals and fibre.
This recipe also includes my quick (not-so-traditional) version of a bolognese sauce because who has time these days to be in the kitchen for hours simmering a sauce. But it is worth it on occasion, so I will post my families secret bolognese sauce soon. This quick version can be made in less than 20 minutes, so it is perfect for a mid-week family dinner after a long day of work and running the kids around.
Bolognese sauce with zoodles
100 grams spaghetti
600 grams zucchini, spiralised or cut in to 10cm length matchsticks
1 tsp olive oil
1 can (400g) tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp oregano leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic clove, peeled and smashed
¼ tsp pepper
300 grams beef mince
1 Prepare sauce by combining ingredients, except for the mince, in a saucepan and blend until smooth using a stick blender. Bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10-30 minutes (depending on the amount of time you have to spare).
2 Place a large pan over a medium heat. Spray with olive oil and brown mince. Season with salt and pepper. Add to sauce and stir through. Keep sauce warm over a low heat with the lid on.
3 Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Cook spaghetti according to the package. Drain. Return spaghetti to pot. Stir through zoodles. Place lid on the pot to steam zoodles for 1 minute. Stir through bolognese sauce to coat pasta.
4 Divide between bowls and sprinkle over freshly grated parmesan cheese.
* Prepare sauce in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat pour in to a saucepan and simmer over a low heat. Add water or stock if sauce is too thick.
Lots more easy, nourishing and delicious recipes in my TastyFitFood Cookbooks. Click here to download a copy!
Welcome. I am Dr Megan Chircop. With an Italian background, food has always been an important part of my life, particularly at family and social gatherings. I am a foodie at heart and love sharing delicious meals with family and friends. In the past 17 years, my love of cooking and recipe development has grown. I continually enjoy creating new delicious recipes with amazing fresh and healthy ingredients. My friends and family call my kitchen my ‘at-home-lab’. In my ‘kitchen-lab’ I have learnt many tricks and shortcuts to make a meal taste delicious within healthy guidelines. I hope you enjoy my delicious creations posted here. If you are keen to get your hands on more, then there are lots more that feature in my series of TastyFitFood Cookbooks. It’s fantastic to feel physically fit, full of energy and mentally ‘switched-on’ while enjoying healthy meals.