There is nothing wrong with the Valentine’s Day steakhouse classics. But if a home is where the heart is, then we feel that there is nothing wrong with a special date night taking on a more cozy, comforting vibe. And what’s more romantic than a “Lady and the Tramp” moment on Valentine’s Day?
Yes, friends. We have reinvented your favorite spaghetti and meatballs to be completely grain-free and paleo so that those ladies (and tramps) watching their carbs can eat with abandon and have even more room for chocolate at the end of the meal.
The chicken meatballs are bound together with fiber-rich almond meal, then baked in the oven until juicy and caramelized on the bottom. Instead of regular spaghetti, we break out the spiralizer and whip up some zoodles, which have the double benefit of being veggie-based and much longer than your average pasta strand should you really want to go after that cinematic moment.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can cut corners where needed. If you do not have time to whip up your own tomato sauce, grab a bottle at the store. The meatballs can also be made up to two days in advance and reheated in the sauce.
Makes 2 large servings
1 pound ground dark meat, chicken or turkey
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup almond meal
2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles
2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
Heat the oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken or turkey, egg, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, garlic, shallot, salt, paprika, chili flakes, and almond meal. With clean hands, mix the chicken with the other ingredients until loosely combined. You do not want to overly break up the meat. Form the chicken into sixteen 2-inch balls (an ice cream scoop works well for portioning) and roll in your hands until round and smooth. Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until cooked through and beginning to brown on the bottom, about 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the zoodles: place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and once the skillet is hot, add the zucchini. Toss zoodles lightly with tongs and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until al dente (you don’t want mushy noodles).
- Toss the meatballs and zoodles with the tomato sauce and serve immediately with some parsley or Parmesan for garnish.