This recipe perfectly demonstrates the beauty of spiralizing. Zucchini noodles will never be able to entirely replace your desire for pasta, but when you top them with a hearty and flavorful sauce, you really won’t miss having the real deal.
Instead, you save the hundreds of calories that are stolen from you when eating a cup of pasta and put those towards this delectable sauce. Plus maybe dessert after?
This is one of my favorite “pasta” dishes that I save for the fall and winter since it’s the type of comfort food you want to eat as the temperatures drop. I don’t eat much pork so I love how the end result really does taste like a quality fennel sausage, but uses ground beef to create it.
If you don’t already have one, you’ve got to make the tiny investment in a spiralizer. I have the Paderno brand from Williams-Sonoma, but I have heard that the newer Inspiralizer improves on many minor flaws the Paderno has.
Fennel “Sausage” Pasta with Kale
- 5 large zucchinis
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 1 bunch chopped kale, ribs removed
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- Parmesan cheese
Spiralize your zucchinis into noodles of your desired thickness. Set aside.
Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the ground beef and next 7 ingredients, through the tomato paste. Cook, breaking up with a spoon, until meat is browned or approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add in kale and saute until the leaves are wilted. Finish by stirring in the lemon juice.
While the meat and kale are cooking, heat a large pan over medium-low heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in your zucchini noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until desired doneness.
Portion noodles into bowls, top with meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Refine Cooking Tips
- To remove the ribs from your kale, fold the leaf in half lengthwise and chop the thick stem off entirely. Then chop just the leaves into the desired size.
- If you’re looking for the real deal, this sauce could also top regular, whole wheat, or gluten free pasta!