Calling carb lovers everywhere! If you are anything like this fiery little Sicilian, you like a nice bowl of pasta! Sunday’s a 3 PM, that’s how I grew up. We went to church and everyone gathered at my grandparents for a Sunday pasta dinner afterwards. I salivate just imagining that authentic Italian tomato sauce perfectly seasoned. The entire house bursting with it’s aroma.
Fast forward to 2016 when we now know that the refined flour, the pizza, the pasta, the bread…it has to be extremely limited due to what it does to our bodies. Unfortunately food is not the same as it used to be. Finding sustainable substitutes- That is a challenge!
I have not cut out pasta entirely. I, in fact, still enjoy the occasional pasta feast. However, when I substitute Miracle Noodles, I can eat pasta as often as I like. Miracle Noodles or Nu-Pasta (Canada) are brand names for the shiritaki noodle made from the Konjac yam. Shiritaki means white waterfall. These noodles are composed of water and glucomannan, a water soluble fiber. They are calorie free, (even though I’m not a calorie counter, it’s still good to know) gluten free, dairy free, soy free and truly a sustainable substitute. I enjoy the vegetable noodles; the sweet potato noodles, spaghetti squash, zucchini, too… but these are SO easy!
The fiber acts to slow digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer. You actually absorb more nutrients due to the the prolonged digestion. Sheritaki noodles also help with balancing cholesterol and lowering insulin, making them safe (beneficial, even) for type II diabetics. They come in a bag of water. No need to refrigerate and they cannot be frozen. Simply snip the end of the bag, rinse the noodles in hot water and dry off a little. Top them with your favorite sauce. My go to sauce is The Keyes Ingredients Bolognase Sauce, but my Chicken Alfredo is a close second.
The only thing to note about these noodles that isn’t quite miraculous is that they have a slight “fish” smell. But have no fear! There is a solution…and it’s easy! This smell is eliminated when you rinse the noodles. I also squeeze a small bit of lemon over mine to neutralize the smell completely.
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil (enough to cover bottom of pan)
- Pink Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (fresh, frozen or jarred)
- 1 Tablespoon dried Italian spices
- 4 (24 oz.) jars of tomatoes, chopped or pureed
- 2 packages grape tomatoes (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (1/4 cup frozen or 1/4 cup tubed herbs can be used)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped (optional)
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef (ground turkey can be substituted)
- Heat a 6 quart stockpot on low to medium heat
- Add the oil, salt, pepper, garlic and spices
- As soon as you smell the garlic aroma add in the chopped tomatoes
- Stir well and add the lemon juice, basil, parsley and the optional swiss chard
- If adding meat, pan fry first then add to the sauce
- Stir and simmer uncovered on low for 2-3 hours
- Sauce will reduce and become thicker
- Use sauce to top homemade zucchini noodles. Zucchini noodles are super easy to make, just run them through a vegetable spiralizer, blanche them and there you go!
- Sprinkle on some fresh basil.
- Spaghetti squash should be halved, covered with oven proof paper and baked at 350 for 35 minutes, then take a fork and "fork it out". Cover with sauce.
- Enjoy! It brings me great joy to make a big pot of fresh tomato sauce.