Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zucchini "Pasta" with Tomato Basil Chicken Meatballs, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Pine Nuts

Let me start by saying this meal is unbelievable (not to toot my own horn or anything).  I was walking my big goofy German shepherd yesterday, thinking of Paleo friendly, gluten free, creative meals to make, and this is what I came up with.  Using raw zucchini as a pasta, by cutting it into long thing strands with my Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer, I had a base for any pasta dish.  From there, I decided I wanted to make a rich meatball using antibiotic-free chicken sausages from Trader Joes.  Topping it off with some roasted cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, I knew I had a winner before I even started.... and I was right.  There wasn't even a single bite of leftovers.  Tested.  Family approved.... and not a single drop of grains!  Enjoy!

I know I'll be making this again...and again...and again!

1 package Trader Joes No-Antibiotic, Nitrate Free Tomato Basil Chicken Sausage

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2tsp fresh basil, minced
1tsp minced garlic
1tbs olive oil

2 zucchini
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2tsp minced garlic
2tsp fresh basil, minced

1/2 jar of your gluten free no sugar added marinara sauce (I used Ragu Light)
1tbs balsamic vinegar
1tbs basil

1/4c pine nuts, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Toss tomatoes with 2tsp basil, 1tsp garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and roast about 15 minutes, or until soft and starting to brown/blacken underneath.  Remove.
2. Meanwhile, using your Joyce Chen slicer on the spiral setting, cut your zucchini into long thing strands.  Alternatively, using a paring knife, cut your zucchini into long thin strands lengthwise.  Toss with olive oil, basil and garlic and let set to help soften and flavor the zucchini.
3. Remove the sausages from the casings and form them into 8 small meatballs.  Brown them in a skillet of hot oil and then place in the oven at 400F for about 15 minutes, or until the center comes out at 170F.
4. Using the same pan you browned the meatballs, pour in about 1/2 jar of marinara.  Add balsamic vinegar and basil and heat until hot.  When the meatballs are done, place them in the skillet full of marinara and toss them well to coat.
5. To serve, place a scoop of zucchini onto a plate.  Top with sauce and meatballs.  Plop a big scoop of cherry tomatoes on top and finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts.  Gourmet, but ahhh so healthy!


  1. We really enjoy the zucchini pasta. Gotta get me one of those spiral cutters! Definitely needs more sauce, and Trader Joe's has changed their sausage. We just broke up the links so they weren't really meatballs, but still tasted yummy. Hubby messed up the tomatoes. I wonder how they'd taste as written....

  2. Thanks for your comment & for trying out the recipe. I currently use Whole Foods Grass Fed Pork Sausage (homemade at the store) and it's amazing. Oh and roasted cherry tomatoes taste like CANDY ... they really are wonderful if you want to give them another try in season (summer).