Courgetti bolognese

courgetti

Hankering for spaghetti but want to keep the carbs down? Try this courgetti bolognese with Turkey mince for a super low-cal option.

Like most men, I absolutely adore a new gadget – and my new favourite just came through the post this week… it’s called a sprializer and allows you to make spaghetti-style strips from vegetables.

Courgetti (courgette spaghetti) is all the rage at the moment in veggie, low-carb, low-fat and low-calorie circles. You can make it with a Julienne peeler, but that takes ages and can get a bit messy… enter the spiralizer.

They require no electricity and are quite fun to use – a bit like a cross between a Playdoh contraption and a medieval torture chamber!

spiralizer

You attach one of the funky blades to the front, stick your vegetable (in this case courgette) on the rack and then turn the handle to create long thin strips. The watery heart of the veg, is left behind!

It took me a while to find the best way to cook the courgetti. I tried blanching in a bowl of boiling water and steaming – but even without the core, courgette can still be watery, and the last thing you want is a spaghetti dish drowning in water.

Sautéing in the wok produced the best results – a tablespoon of olive oil, a dash of garlic paste, some salt and pepper, and it was delicious before I even added the sauce.

For extra protein points and low-calorie results, I used turkey mince instead of lean beaf in my bolognese sauce.

The result was better than I expected all round – even getting our daughters’s approval. Martha and Gracie loved the extra long strips, and it didn’t even cross their mind it wasn’t real spaghetti!

Protein-wise, a portion packs a whopping 17 g and there’s just 246 calories a portion.

If you like cheese on your spaghetti, you can add a few shavings of parmesan. I stayed on the low-calorie kick my substituting nutritional yeast flakes – deactivated yeast with a cheesy taste that is a staple of many vegan dishes. It’s packed with vitamin B and Folic acid and 10g adds about 38 calories to the dish.

Recipe serves 6

Ingredients

400g turkey mince
1 onion
1 bell pepper
2 cups stock or bone broth
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp agave nectas
2 tbsp olive oil
100g tomato paste
6 black peppercorns (or 1 tsp ground black pepper)
8 medium courgettes

Method

Finely chop the onions and peppers and sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil with the garlic paste.

In a separate pan, fry the turkey mince until browned (the browner it is, the more flavour you will get).

Add the turkey mince to the onion mix and deglaze the frying pan with a couple of spoons of the stock. Add this and the rest of the stock to the mix and stir in the tomato paste.

Crush all the spices in a pestle and mortar and also add to the mix.

Add the agave nectar if you like a slightly sweeter sauce, and a tsp of instant coffee if you want the sauce to be browner, like a more traditional beef bolognese.

Leave to simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes until the liquid thickens.

In the meantime, spiralize the courgettes.

When the sauce is ready, quickly sauté the courgetti (about 3 mins) in 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of garlic paste.

Add the bolognese sauce 1 ladle at a time to the courgettes and stir through to a desired mix of courgetti and sauce. Reserve any leftover sauce for another meal (it’s delicious with baked sweet potatoes).

Serve piping hot and top with parmesan or nutritional yeast.

If you use myfitnesspal, you can see the recipe here (you need to be logged in to view)